Danny Welbeck
Welbeck in contention for Italy clash.GettyImages

Danny Welbeck will be fit to play in England's World Cup opener against Italy on Saturday, according to teammate Wayne Rooney.

The Manchester United forward limped out of training on Tuesday with a thigh injury at the team's Urca training base and sat out of Wednesday's session along with Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

But reports suggest Welbeck, 23, has undergone scans on the troublesome thigh and has been encouraged by the results that showed no signs of serious damage and will be in contention to take on the Azzurri at the Arena da Amazonia.

"He will be fine," Rooney told reporters when asked of his teammate's fitness. "He'll be ready for Saturday. He's not risked anything in training today so he'll train on Friday and he'll be available for Saturday, I'm sure."

While Welbeck has struggled in recent seasons for regular first team football at club level, he has remained central to Roy Hodgson's England plans having scored eight goals in 20 games under his tenure as manager, including five in 12 competitive games.

Liverpool youngster Raheem Sterling had been tipped to fill in for Welbeck were he to miss Saturday's clash against Cesare Prandelli's side. Despite playing just 39 minutes of football over the past month the 19-year-old has made an impression on Hodgson in training, occupying the space behind Liverpool teammate Daniel Sturridge with Rooney operating from the left.

Although Welbeck is likely to be given the nod if match fit, Hodgson has previously indicated he would have no qualms in handing Sterling a starting role.

"It was unfortunate that he couldn't play against Honduras but I can tell you that Raheem Sterling is very much in the group of players I'm considering," the England boss said on Tuesday.

"If I select him, it won't be in my opinion a risk that he hasn't played so many minutes. And if I don't select him, it certainly won't be because he has only played 39 minutes. It will be because I prefer someone else. That's all I can tell you."