SAF: Roo won’t be out for too long

Ferguson took a calculated gamble to risk Rooney’s ankle injury

against Bayern Munich at Old Trafford and confirmed afterwards his

star striker had aggravated the problem during a 3-2 win that

condemned United to an exit at the quarter-final stage. Rooney is

now likely to miss Sunday’s trip to Blackburn, the start of a

five-match title run-in in which Ferguson believes his side cannot

drop a single point if they are to stand any chance of retaining

their Premier League crown. However, the United boss is confident

his 34-goal forward will be fit for the derby trip to Manchester

City on April 17. “He got a knock which was similar to last week,”

said the United boss. “It is a burst blood vessel below the ankle.

He won’t be out for too long.” After claiming on Tuesday that

Rooney had “no chance” of being involved last night, Ferguson

revealed that the about-turn was only confirmed on Wednesday

morning, once he had spoken to medical staff about a work-out

Rooney had put himself through. “He had a training session

yesterday (Tuesday) and did everything we could have asked of him,”

said Ferguson. “The medical people thought there was no danger,

other than he might feel it in the second half, so we felt it was

worth the risk. “Unfortunately he went over on the ankle again.

There were a couple of challenges on him and I don’t think he got

any protection from the referee but it is not too serious. “I don’t

think he will be ready for Sunday but he should be available for

next week.” Ferguson must find a way of raising his troops after

they failed to overcome the 49th-minute dismissal of young defender

Rafael, which he felt was pivotal. United made a flying start, with

Darron Gibson and Nani putting them ahead in the tie after just

seven minutes. When the Portugal winger added another late in the

first half, it seemed United would canter into the semi-finals.

Instead, Ivica Olic netted just before the break and once Rafael

departed soon after the restart, United had their backs to the

wall. It took a wonder strike from Arjen Robben to send them

through, United not having the energy to mount any kind of

response. “It was 35 yards from goal,” said Ferguson of Rafael’s

tug on Franck Ribery. “There was no threat and the referee wasn’t

going to do anything about it until they surrounded him. It is

typical of Germans. They are like that.” Ferguson’s allegation was

met with a swift rebuttal from Bayern coach Louis van Gaal, who was

also unimpressed by the United manager’s assertion that the Germans

would not have gone through if their hosts had retained 11 players,

or claims that the visiting team targeted Rooney’s ankle. “I

thought England was noted for fairness,” said van Gaal. “I have

been confronted with three comments. It is not what I call fair

play. “I do not share Sir Alex’s opinion. “It is easy to say these

things after a loss.”