Rooney ruled out for three weeks

The striker, who has been short of form and goals all season, was

substituted with half an hour left against Bolton in the Premier

League on Sunday and did not travel with the United squad for their

Champions League match against Valencia tomorrow night. The injury

update from Ferguson means Rooney will miss the league game at

Sunderland on Saturday and also England’s Euro 2012 qualifier

against Montenegro on October 12. Ferguson also confirmed that

midfielder Paul Scholes will be sidelined for 10 days with a calf

problem. “It will be two to three weeks,” said Ferguson. “But it

depends because Wayne has done quite well with his recovery from

injury in the past.” Rooney’s absence against Montenegro will be a

blow to Fabio Capello given he has already lost Frank Lampard, Theo

Walcott, Jermain Defoe and Bobby Zamora in a growing injury list,

plus James Milner through suspension. However, it could be argued

it is just what Rooney needs after an awful period, during which

time his private life has been thrown into turmoil and his form has

collapsed. He has still only scored once this season – from the

penalty spot – compared with three in a week for Michael Owen and

seven so far this season for top scorer Dimitar Berbatov. Former

England skipper Kevin Keegan claimed on Sunday that Rooney’s

confidence was “shot”, adding the forward only had himself to blame

for the press intrusion into his life because of the number of

endorsements he current has. Not that Ferguson was getting into

such topics this evening. “It is a straightforward ankle injury,”

he said. “And it is not the same one he did in Munich.” Rooney’s

form collapse can be traced back to that injury in the first leg of

last season’s European quarter-final against Bayern Munich.

Ferguson has previously insisted he did not rush Rooney back too

quickly, although he will hope when his star man does return from

his present lay-off, he is more like his old self than the shadow

player he seemed to have become. “Nobody likes to be injured but he

is. There is nothing you can do about it,” said the United boss.

Unfortunately for the Red Devils, Rooney’s is not the only injury

for them to contend with. Although it was assumed Scholes had

simply been rested after completing the full 90 minutes against

Bolton at the Reebok Stadium, Ferguson has revealed the 35-year-old

has instead picked up a niggling calf problem. “You don’t want to

lose your best players, that goes without saying,” said Ferguson.

“The problem is with one of those small injuries like Paul has got,

when you are travelling and sitting on a plane, stiffness comes

into it and doesn’t make it any better. “It was a big decision to

leave him behind. Because it is only a little one, you are tempted

to play him when it is not wise. “He should be ready in 10 days.”