Manchester United and England were left fearing the worst when Wayne Rooney suffered what appeared to be a serious ankle injury towards the end of the 2-1 Champions League quarter-final, first leg defeat by Bayern Munich last night.
Sir Alex Ferguson, the United manager, played down the injury, saying that he did not think it was “terribly serious”, but Rooney left the Allianz Arena on crutches, with his right foot in a protective plastic boot. He will have an MRI scan today to determine the extent of the damage.
There are fears that the 24-year-old may have damaged ligaments, which could rule him out for months, and Rooney seems certain to miss the Barclays Premier League match against Chelsea at Old Trafford on Saturday and the second leg against Bayern next Wednesday. However, Edwin Van der Sar believes United can cope without the loss of their 34-goal talisman.
"Against Bolton we also played with some other players," Van der Sar said. "It can happen in the season. You always want your best players available but we know the players coming in can also do a good job."
Park Ji Sung also expressed his confidence that United could reach the semi-finals. "We are disappointed because we were leading," he said. "The early goal was good for us but we weren't able to build on it and get the result. But we have our chance to go through at Old Trafford. Bayern have an experienced team, and the club has a proud history.
"They did well but the situation will be different at Old Trafford. We're waiting for them to come there."