Roy Hodgson has vowed not to push Wayne Rooney too hard in Wednesday's friendly with Scotland, for England's sake as well as Manchester United's.
Rooney finally got to make a public appearance of his own at St George's Park on Monday after a summer in which his name has rarely been out of the headlines.
He made the most of it too, emerging fully half an hour before the rest of his England team-mates, as if to underline his fitness, which was the subject of so much irritation from David Moyes at Wembley on Sunday.
There has been an element of farce about events of the past seven days, in which Rooney was not deemed fit enough to play in three pre-season games, but did train with United's reserves and - according to Hodgson - played a full part in Monday's session, having missed the Community Shield less than 24 hours earlier.
But Rooney's fitness is a serious matter for Hodgson ahead of next month's crucial World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine.
And he is not prepared to do anything to risk it.
"Wayne has missed enough football this season and I don't want him to miss anymore," said Hodgson.
"I will have to talk to the medical and fitness people about it because it gets a bit tricky if you decide to start him and see how long he lasts.
"Then you can get past a point where medically he should have been taken off but because he wants to carry on or you still want him on the field because you need a result, you can push him a bit too far.
"I don't want to push him beyond the limit he shouldn't pass.
"I would be very disappointed if he played too long in this game, sent him back to Manchester United injured and then he missed another period of time."
Hodgson has also assured Arsene Wenger that Jack Wilshere will not play the while game against Scotland.
Having seen Wilshere sidelined for much of the last two years through injury, Wenger has been careful not to put too much pressure on his star midfielder.
The 21-year-old has not completed a full 90 minutes in pre-season, even though he has played all but two of the Gunners' games this summer.
Hodgson has only been able to blood Wilshere for 90 minutes on one occasion during his 15-month reign and that came against Brazil in February when the midfielder put in a stunning man of the match display.
Hodgson is desperate to see Wilshere play more minutes in an England shirt, but he knows he must manage the player carefully given that a big few months lie ahead for national side, and Arsenal.
"I have not had the benefit of Jack Wilshere for a qualifying match or an important match so we are pleased to have him back," Hodgson said.
"We are aware of the fact that Arsene is careful with him at Arsenal and I will be careful with him as well.
"We are spoilt for choice in that we have enormous riches in the central midfield area. I was very pleased with Michael Carrick and Frank Lampard in the Brazil and Ireland fixtures and I am delighted with Steven Gerrard and Jack Wilshere and that is just naming four.
"We have others who can compete as well."