Rooney out for four weeks as Rodallega cleared

Wayne Rooney’s hopes of a quick comeback from the nasty wound sustained in the win over Fulham look certain to be dashed. Rooney remained in hospital overnight as medical staff assessed the extent of the injury he sustained when Hugo Rodallega landed on him.

Immediately after the game, Alex Ferguson said it was “a very bad one” which would rule his forward out for four weeks. This has been emphasised by the reaction of surgeons who were “surprised” at the depth of the cut. Rooney returned home yesterday morning after a comfortable night. However, his chances of figuring in next Sunday’s Premier League encounter with Southampton appear non-existent and it seems inevitable he will also miss England’s opening World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine next month.

The one reason for optimism is when Nani needed stitches in a nasty wound, admittedly below the knee, inflicted by Jamie Carragher at Liverpool in March 2011, Ferguson immediately put the recovery timescale at three weeks, yet the Portugal winger was back in action nine days later. With the start of another Champions League campaign and a trip to Liverpool looming after the international break, any reduction would be a bonus for Ferguson.

Rodallega has been cleared of any blame for the incident, which happened as Rooney attempted to close down a free-kick that had just rebounded back to the Colombian. The sheer force of Rodallega landing on Rooney caused the damage and it appeared the Fulham man was wearing studs, rather than the blades some have argued cause greater injury. Rooney’s condition helped deflect attention away from the fact he did not feature in the United starting line-up, although Ferguson was at pains to stress there are “no problems”.

Instead of being paired with new signing Robin van Persie, Rooney was left on the bench. And with the transfer window due to close on Friday, there is bound to be some talk of Rooney’s future, if only outside the club. Certainly Ferguson was quick to quell such talk even as Rooney was heading to hospital.

“He and Robin van Persie are needing games,” said the Scot. “To start the two of them would have been too much. Wayne understood that. There is no problem. He played his part when he came on.”

And Van Persie, whilst keen to spread the praise across his team-mates, expects Rooney to be his main strike partner. “Wayne is a world-class player,” said the Dutchman. “He can give you everything; assists, goals. He is quick, technical. He loves to link up as well. I look forward to that combination.”


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