Manchester United and England have both been left fearing the worst as Wayne Rooney's knee injury looks set to keep him on the sidelines for up to two months, according to the Mirror.
It was confirmed earlier today that the 30-year-old had been left out of United's 18-man squad for Thursday's Europa League match against FC Midtjylland. Louis van Gaal is expected to confirm the extent of the injury during a pre-match press conference at 5 pm UK time.
However, the Mirror's John Cross has got the jump on the Dutchman and claims to have found out the extent of the injury. He says Manchester United doctors are expected Rooney to miss at least the next six weeks, meaning he may not be back on the pitch until the end of next month.
Article continues below
That is not only terrible news for the Red Devils but for England boss Roy Hodgson as well. Rooney is seen as key to Manchester United's chances of breaking into the Premier League's top four but is also expected to play a big part in England's Euro 2016 campaign this summer.
Hodgson will be relying on having his captain fighting fit for the tournament and will be asking to be kept up to date during Rooney's rehabilitation. However, the immediate concern will now be for United's fading prospects of ending a drab season on a high.
Article continues below
While Rooney is unlikely to be missed against the Danish minnows on Thursday, he will be a massive loss for their next Premier League fixture against Arsenal. They need to win to stand any realistic chance of making the top four. More worryingly, they also face Manchester City away on March 20 soon followed by a game against Tottenham on April 9.
Although he has hardly been a force up front this season, Rooney is still United's top scorer with 14 goals and also represents the only central striker with significant experience in Van Gaal's squad. Only Anthony Martial, who has been used primarily on the wing, has scored anything close to Rooney's tally (ten).
Needless to say, fans have already pointed towards Van Gaal's decision to not sign a new striker in either the summer or the January transfer window. Realistically, he now has only Martial and Will Keane to choose from. Take a look at some of the best reaction below:
Who is Wayne Rooney's injury a bigger blow to:Manchester United or England? Give us your thoughts in the comment box below!