Wayne Rooney dealt Manchester United and England a major blow on Tuesday when he was ruled out of action for up to three weeks with an ankle injury.
The troubled striker, who had already been left at home for Wednesday’s Champions League trip to Valencia, will miss England’s Euro 2012 qualifying match against Montenegro on October 12.
“It will be two to three weeks,” said United boss Sir Alex Ferguson ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League match against the La Liga leaders.
“But it depends because Wayne has done quite well with his recovery from injury in the past.”
Rooney has been out of form all season, scoring just one goal, while having to contend with newspaper allegations of an extra-marital affair with a prostitute.
He missed United’s trip to Spain after he suffered an ankle injury during the 2-2 Premier League draw away to Bolton on Sunday, where he was substituted with 30 minutes left at the Reebok Stadium.
Rooney is now also set to miss United’s league game away to Sunderland on Saturday as well as the England tie.
He joins Frank Lampard, Jermain Defoe, Theo Walcott and Bobby Zamora on a growing England injury list.
Meanwhile, Ferguson added veteran United midfielder Paul Scholes would be out of action for 10 days with a calf injury.
“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.”
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