Wayne Rooney will miss this weekend’s upcoming Premier League match with Newcastle and his status for Wednesday’s Champions League second leg against Bayern Munich is in serious doubt.
The English international star picked up an injury in the first leg against the German giants, and the severity has yet to be determined.
United manager David Moyes called the injury “touch-and-go” and said more tests are needed to indicate whether the toe is bruised or if Rooney has possibly picked up a much more serious hairline fracture.
The injury is a massive blow to the Red Devils, who are all but out of the race for the Premier League’s top four, but grabbed a positive 1-1 draw with Bayern in the first leg and had hopes of a monumental upset for next Wednesday’s reverse fixture.
Instead, they may have to trudge on with their best player in the treatment room.
Rooney has dealt with the occasional groin or hamstring knock this season, but has largely avoided anything serious thus far.
“There is not an awful lot you can do with a toe injury,” Moyes said in his pre-match presser ahead of the Newcastle game. “Sometimes you can feel better quite quickly with them and sometimes you need an injection possibly to play with it if it is bruising.”
Moyes will likely turn to Danny Welbeck in Rooney’s place. The 23-year-old has started 13 times in the Premier League campaign, and started on the wing in the first leg against Bayern, playing 85 minutes.
The injury could also give Shinji Kagawa more playing time, a positive for United against their Champions League foes. Kagawa has never lost to Bayern in his professional career, and was positive in his substitute appearance in the first leg. With Welbeck possibly moving up front, Kagawa could take his place on the wing. Another option is leaving Welbeck out on the touchline and sliding Javier Hernandez into the striker slot.