Manchester United have granted Wayne Rooney compassionate leave following the death of the striker’s sister-in-law.
Rosie McLoughlin, the 14-year-old sister of Rooney’s wife Coleen, passed away after a lifelong battle with the rare genetic condition Rett Syndrome this week.
The Red Devils have subsequently allowed the England international to take a break from his efforts to recover from the knee injury which has kept him out since the 1-1 draw with Swansea on December 23.
A family statement from the McLoughlins said: “Sadly our special angel Rosie, our much-loved daughter and sister, went to Heaven at 2.50 this morning at home where she was surrounded by her loving family.
“Rosie was just 14 years old and fought a lifelong battle with Rett syndrome. Throughout her life she brought so much love and happiness to all our family and everyone who knew and met her.
“She was such a strong little girl and an inspiration to us all. We shall cherish forever the memories we have shared and the love she showed us each and every day of her life. As a family we are heartbroken but we are blessed to have had her in our lives.”
Sir Alex Ferguson recently claimed that Rooney was two weeks from a return to first-team action, but this latest blow is expected to delay his comeback.
Sources at Carrington have told Goal.com that United’s coaching team are keen to avoid rushing Rooney back due to his injury record this season.
Rooney has made 19 appearances so far this term, scoring eight goals.