Rooney facing four weeks out
Wayne Rooney is being treated in hospital after suffering a nasty leg injury in Manchester United's Premier League match with Fulham.
The England striker was carried off on a stretcher at Old Trafford after the accidental clash with Hugo Rodallega in the home side's 3-2 victory and is expected to be out of action for four weeks. Rooney was charging down a shot by the Fulham substitute, whose boot connected with his leg.
Television pictures showed a severe gash down Rooney's right leg, with blood coming from the deep wound, and United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said: "It was a very bad one. He has gone to hospital. It looks like he will be out for four weeks."
If Ferguson's assessment proves correct it would rule Rooney out of England's Euro 2012 double-header with Moldova and Ukraine at the beginning of next month. In addition, the 26-year-old would miss the start of United's Champions League campaign, whilst also making him a major doubt for the Red Devils' crucial trip to Liverpool on September 23.
"You have to be wary of infection and that kind of thing so he has gone to the best place and hopefully he will be okay," added Ferguson. "Rodallega followed through and caught him - but it was an accident of course."
Rooney's injury capped a bad day for the striker, who had been dropped by Ferguson, who handed Robin van Persie his first start.
That Van Persie levelled Damien Duff's early opener and impressive strike partner Shinji Kagawa also got his name on the scoresheet made it doubtful Rooney would have started at Southampton next Sunday anyway even without his enforced lay-off. Certainly Ferguson was happy at the way Van Persie and Kagawa combined in a thrilling first-half display.
"It was fine," he said. "Obviously it is early doors and there will be a better understanding as time goes on."
And it seems Ferguson is intent on operating with someone occupying a deeper role behind Van Persie, suggesting Rooney will not be able to take his first-team place for granted.
"We normally do that, whether it is Wayne who plays in that role, or Danny Welbeck can do it," said Ferguson. "Ashley Young and Ryan Giggs can play there. We have options that way."