Rooney has been "fit for several days", according to the England manager, despite not playing in Sunday's Community Shield for Manchester United due to the ongoing dispute over the disenchanted striker's future.
Rooney started his training session half an hour earlier than the rest of England's players and looked so sharp Hodgson hopes to include him from the start rather than in the substitute role that had initially been anticipated.
"You know what an enthusiast he is and how keen he is to play football," Hodgson said. "His pre-season has been hampered by two separate injuries but at least now he is injury-free. Of course he is not match-fit. You cannot be match-fit if you don't play matches and take part in every training session but he has been fit for several days now and has trained very hard. He is now with us and we will continue to monitor him and see how he feels tomorrow."
Hodgson's primary concern is that the issue between Rooney and United threatens to have repercussions for England, particularly in terms of how much football the striker is getting before the World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine next month and then Montenegro and Poland in October. Gary Neville, however, is convinced that Rooney will make his peace with United if they stick to their word and refuse to allow him to join Chelsea.
"This is not somebody who is going to go awol. I would be amazed if that ever happened. He's a street footballer. He's someone who even now, speaking to people this week, is training hard. He wants to play, wants to do well, keeps his professionalism about him. He went through a situation (handing in a transfer request) three years ago if you remember. It was quite a public situation but he still continued to want to play football. If Manchester United decide not to sell him, I think he will go about his business in absolutely the way he has done previously.
"Is he desperate to leave? Does he want to leave? Maybe he wants a new challenge but is he desperate? Is he going to force the issue similar to Luis Suárez and what he is doing at Liverpool? I don't think Wayne Rooney has got that in him."
Neville, one of Hodgson's coaches but speaking in his promotional work for Sky, is confident Rooney will still be a United player after the transfer window. "Manchester United would be mad to sell him. I could argue in the last eight years he has been the most important player in the Premier League, scoring 20-plus goals in most of them, assisting, fighting for every single ball in every single game. The evidence is there. They don't grow on trees, Wayne Rooneys.
"He is a massive contributor to games at United and you can't replace personalities. There are very few personalities in football now – big personalities, fighters – and he is one of them. You can't just buy them. In terms of personality, what he brings, it's very difficult to replace him. If United don't sign a blockbuster player, there is no way they can even consider letting Wayne Rooney go."
For Hodgson the hope is that Rooney's issue with United will not still be a major issue when it comes to the World Cup qualifiers. However, the England manager insists Rooney will be his first-choice striker even if he is still in dispute with United and not playing regularly for David Moyes's team.
"He won't be the first player in contention for an England place who is not playing for his club side. That was basically the case with a lot of players during the whole of last year and they were still playing for us. I'm thinking James Milner, Daniel Welbeck, Tom Cleverley, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain etc. He [Rooney] will always be considered for England while he is physically fit because he is one of our best players. Of course it is not ideal. But I don't choose ideal situations. I deal with the situations that are there."
Hodgson was left with an injury concern over Theo Walcott after the Arsenal player took a bang in training. The forward had to be helped off the pitch and must now be considered a doubt for Wednesday night with Arsenal concerned about losing a player only days before the first weekend of the season.
Hodgson also rejected suggestions his attention should be fully on the seniors as he prepares to take charge of the England under-21s in their game against Scotland at Bramall Lane, a match that will recognise 20 years of Kick It Out's campaigning against racism. Cyrille Regis and Garth Crooks gave an hour-long address to the under-21 players at Burton as part of the awareness programme, reliving what it was like to be among the first black footballers in England.Sky Sports' biggest ever football season includes 116 live Premier League matches, all the big head to heads and every club twice before December.
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