Manchester United were dealt a huge blow when it was confirmed that Wayne Rooney would be out for between six to eight weeks after he injured his knee. The England striker was left out of the 18-man squad that travelled to Denmark for the Europa League encounter with FC Midtjylland.
It was confirmed that he would be out for at least a month with an injury to his knee ligament. While he did not injure himself in the last game against Sunderland, a 2-1 loss at the Stadium of Light, reports suggest that he suffered the injury during a training session.
Louis van Gaal is already without a number of players to choose from after losing the likes of Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones, Ashley Young, Matteo Darmian and Guillermo Varela.
“We have 13 players injured and Wayne Rooney is one of them,” Louis van Gaal said.
When asked how long he could be out for, he said: “You can never say. He has a knee problem so we must wait and see.”
Rooney’s injury will only make things tougher for the Dutchman with the Red Devils set to play at least eight matches before the next international break at the end of March. The list of fixtures includes an important clash against Arsenal at Old Trafford and the Manchester derby at the Etihad. Their only fit striker available now is 20-year-old Anthony Martial.
England will also be concerned with Rooney’s injury
This is not the first time Rooney has suffered an injury in the same year as a major tournament in the summer. In 2006, Rooney suffered a metatarsal injury in a match against Chelsea and only just about made it back in time to play in the FIFA World Cup in Germany.
The Three Lions are set to play two friendly matches during the international break. They will first play Germany at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on 26 March before hosting Netherlands at Wembley Stadium on 29 March.
In all likelihood, Rooney will not be available for these two games, giving England manager Roy Hodgson a big headache. If Rooney’s recovery takes two months, he will only have one month to prove his fitness before Hodgson selects his final squad for Euro 2016 in France this summer. The tournament gets underway in the second week of June with England playing their first game on 11 June against Russia.
While Hodgson has a number of strikers to choose from, like Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane and Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy, Rooney is his captain and most senior player in the squad having made his England debut in 2003. He is also the country’s top goal scorer and played a crucial part in the Euro 2016 qualifiers when the English side won all 10 matches with the United striker scoring seven goals.Published 17 Feb 2016, 21:20 IST