18 Feb 2016

Rooney faces spell on sidelines

9:31 am on 18 February 2016

Manchester United football captain Wayne Rooney has suffered a knee injury and faces a spell on the sidelines.

Manchester United star Wayne Rooney, Newcastle United v Manchester United, Premier League, 12th January 2016 - Photo: Simon Stacpoole / Offside

Manchester United star Wayne Rooney Photo: Photosport

The 30-year-old was left out of the 18-man squad that travelled to face FC Midtjylland in the Europa League and manager Louis van Gaal explained why, after arriving in Denmark.

"We have 13 players injured and Wayne is one of them," the Dutchman told MUTV.

"He has a knee problem so we have to wait and see. He scores a lot of goals so he is very important for us. We know that but we have to cope with that."

Rooney's reportedly going to be out for six weeks after picking up the injury in last weekend's loss in Sunderland.

With United fifth in the Premier League table, six points off the top four, Rooney recently said that winning the Europa League or the FA Cup could save their disappointing season.

Victory in the Europa League could be the only route into the lucrative Champions League, with a finish inside the top four looking difficult this season - United are fifth, but six points off fourth-placed crosstown rivals Manchester City.

Rooney was also likely to miss England's two friendlies against Germany and the Netherlands in late March, but should be fit again for Euro 2016, which begins on June 11 (NZT).

Combative midfielder Marouane Fellaini was another notable absentee and fullback Matteo Darmian will not be involved after dislocating his shoulder during Sunday's 2-1 league defeat by Sunderland.

Van Gaal picked a young squad to face Midtjylland, including Regan Poole, Joe Riley and James Weir who could make their first-team debuts.