Friday 19 January 2018

LVG: Rooney made injury worse by playing on it

Wayne Rooney Photo: PA
Wayne Rooney Photo: PA

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal admits Wayne Rooney may have made the knee injury that is set to sideline the striker for six weeks worse by playing through the pain last weekend.

Van Gaal would not put a timeframe on Rooney's absence, but it is understood the England captain is facing around six weeks out.

It was then put to Van Gaal that Rooney had played the full duration of Saturday's game rather than coming off, and the Dutchman said: "That's typical Wayne.

"He's a guy who wants to go until the end - if he's feeling pain he doesn't want to go off. He wants to win.

"That's a fantastic attitude but sometimes it's also bad for his body.

"But you cannot say (if he made the injury worse by staying on) because he didn't know when it happened. That's the difficulty."

Van Gaal stressed United will simply "have to cope'' after an injury that takes the club's list of unavailable senior players to 12.

Van Gaal's squad looks severely limited right now in terms of out-and-out striker options. Below is a list of his striking options.

Anthony Martial

The 20-year-old's favoured position is through the middle and now he will probably get a run of games to showcase his talents.

Will Keane

The 23-year-old is United's only other recognised out-and-out striker but he is inexperienced and untested at this level.

Memphis Depay

After impressing sporadically during the first few months of the season, the summer signing has been in poor form recently. He last began a game in the 2-0 St Stephen's Day defeat at Stoke, where his mistake led to the host's opening goal. Van Gaal may opt to play him in his preferred left-sided role.

Marouane Fellaini

Hardly United's most mobile option but he does offer something different in attack. However, like Rooney, he too could be looking at a spell on the sidelines with a muscle injury.

Juan Mata

Mata is experienced, adaptable and a threat in the final third, capable of scoring himself and creating chances for others.

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