Vol. 5 Num 1141 Tue. August 14, 2007  

Barclays English Premier League
ManU Held at Home

Rooney out for two months

Wayne Rooney will be out for two months with a hairline fracture in his left foot, Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson said Monday.

The striker will therefore miss Sunday's derby against Manchester City at Eastlands, England's friendly with Germany on August 22 at Wembley, and the 2008 European Championships qualifiers there against Israel on September 8 and Russia on September 12.

He is also likely to miss the qualifiers away to Estonia on October 13 and Russia on October 17.

"It's a hairline fracture of the foot. Hopefully he will be back in two months," Ferguson said.

"It's a bad blow for him and it's a bad blow for Steve McClaren," the Scot said of the England boss, his former assistant at United.

"I'm disappointed for Steve but England should cope without him."

Rooney sustained the fracture during Sunday's 0-0 draw at home to Reading, the opening game of United's title defence. He left Old Trafford with his left foot in plaster.

Ferguson has ruled out bringing in a new forward to fill in while Rooney recovers.

Ferguson is expected to hand Argentina forward Carlos Tevez his debut for the English Premier League champions in United's match at Portsmouth on Wednesday.

But the veteran boss is short on fit strikers, with both France forward Louis Saha and Norway attacker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer only just returned to training after long-term problems -- and Tevez lacking match fitness.

"Carlos Tevez is available now and Louis Saha and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are training," Ferguson said after the Reading game.

"I was considering using Carlos at Portsmouth anyway but, obviously, he will come into our thoughts even more now.

"With Wayne as well, we have four strikers so I am not looking at a situation where I have to add to that number."

The transfer window closes at the end of the month.

United sold strikers Alan Smith to Newcastle United and Giuseppe Rossi to Villarreal in the pre-season. They even finished the Reading match with Portugal winger Ronaldo and Republic of Ireland defender-cum-midfielder John O'Shea up front.

Rooney, 21, is no stranger to foot injuries.

He almost missed last year's World Cup with a broken metatarsal in his right foot and his involvement in Euro 2004 was ended after a metatarsal injury to his left foot.

Manchester United star Wayne Rooney (C) is under siege by an army of Reading players during his side's Premiership encounter at Old Trafford in Manchester on Sunday. PHOTO: AFP