Manchester United will travel to Denmark as they face FC Midtjylland in the 2015-16 UEFA Europa League clash on Thursday. Louis van Gaal has confirmed injured captain Wayne Rooney has joined 12 other players who will miss the midweek European fixture.
The England international suffered a knee injury and according to The Times, Rooney is expected to be on the sidelines for two months. Should this be true, the Red Devils star will miss both legs of the European fixture and should they qualify for the next stage, he is expected to miss that as well.
In addition to this, Rooney will miss the FA Cup clash and also crucial Premier League fixtures against Arsenal and Manchester City. After confirming the injury to United’s main man, the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager refused to suggest as to how long the striker will be out of action.
“We have 13 players out and Wayne is one of them. You can never say [how long he could be out for]. He has a knee problem so we have to wait and see,” Van Gaal told MUTV.
“Certainly in 2016, he has scored goals and that’s why we had a good run in matches until Sunderland, but we have to cope with that. Everybody can be injured and also the captain can be injured.”
“Wayne [is a player] who wants to go until the end and if he is feeling pain, he doesn’t want to go away [off the field], and certainly when you are drawing a match, he wants to win. That’s a fantastic attitude but also it’s bad for his body.”
Summer signing Matteo Darmain suffered a dislocated shoulder in United’s 2-1 defeat to Sunderland in the last fixture. He is expected to be on the sidelines, while another full-back Cameron Borthwick-Jackson will miss the Midtjylland clash due to illness.
Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia, Marcos Rojo, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Ashley Young have all been on the sidelines, while Phil Jones has just returned from injury. Marouane Fellaini, who missed the last match against the Black Cats has now joined the injury list.
“Darmian has a dislocated shoulder. It’s not the heaviest type so we are lucky, but he is injured and out. Borthwick-Jackson is ill and cannot play either, so we have 13 players injured or not capable of playing,” United manager explained.
“I have never had that amount of players injured [before]. When you realise that they are only contact injuries – only Marouane Fellaini maybe has a muscle problem, the rest have contact injuries – it’s unbelievable that we are very unlucky.”
United’s 18-man travelling squad is given below:
De Gea, Romero, Love, McNair, Smalling, Blind, Poole, Riley, Carrick, Herrera, Schneiderlin, Lingard, Pereira, Weir, Mata, Memphis, Martial, Keane.