Rooney out for further two weeks

Wayne Rooney is set for an extended spell on the sidelines

Wayne Rooney is set for an extended spell on the sidelines

First published in National Sport © by

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has been ruled out for another two weeks.

Rooney sustained a minor knee injury in training on Christmas Day and Sir Alex Ferguson initially expected the striker to be back in a fortnight. However, it now seems he will be missing for longer - and will sit out next week's clash with Liverpool.

"Wayne is still injured," said Ferguson. "It is not serious but it is going to take longer than we thought, probably another two weeks. He won't be fit for Liverpool."

Rooney was expected to have been back in training by now and Ferguson cannot exactly work out why it has not happened.

"He got a little kick behind his knee and he is still feeling it," said Ferguson. "Hopefully another couple of weeks will sort it out. Nonetheless, it is a loss. You always want your best players available."

There was some good news, though, with Ferguson revealing winger Nani, who has been absent for two months with a hamstring problem, will take a major step forward in his recovery. "He starts training today," Ferguson said.

Ferguson has also confirmed United will rip up their Old Trafford pitch in the summer after it became so heavy Darren Fletcher has been unable to play on it.

Scotland international Fletcher has been a notable absentee during United's packed festive programme. After battling back to fitness after being struck down by a chronic bowel condition, Fletcher was involved in four matches in the space of a fortnight at the end of last month.

However, he was on the pitch for just a minute of United's festive campaign, being introduced as a late substitute in the Boxing Day win over Newcastle. "The pitches over the last few weeks have not suited Darren," Ferguson said. "They are really heavy pitches. Unfortunately, Old Trafford seems to have collapsed in the last two weeks."

He added: "We have had six great years out of the pitch. Our groundsman, Tony Sinclair, has done a fantastic job. But it is looking tired now and I think we will have a new pitch in the summer."

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