during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Manchester United at the Stadium of Light on February 13, 2016 in Sunderland, England.

Wayne Rooney out 6-8 weeks with knee injury

Wayne Rooney is set to miss the next two months after picking up a knee ligament injury in training this week. The news was broken when United landed in Denmark ahead of their Europa League match against FC Midtjylland on Thursday. The team had previously announced that Rooney was not in the traveling 18 man squad but did not provide a reason for his absence.

The news comes as a massive blow to United, who are left with just one senior first team striker in 20 year old Anthony Martial, as they head in to a crucial point of there season. United have been currently stuttering in the Premier League, where they’ve won just three of their last 13 matches, but they are still alive in both the FA Cup and the Europa League. With fourth place seemingly out of reach, many feel that winning the Europa League is United’s only path to returning to the Champions League next season.

The injury also serves as a blow to Roy Hodgson as Rooney will now miss England’s March friendlies against Germany and Holland. There are also fears that Rooney could be entering yet another major tournament not at 100 percent fitness.

When the news broke, it seemed that the initial reaction from everyone was overreaction, with some even going as far as to suggest Rooney had played his last game in a Manchester United shirt.

Tommy Smyth is a pretty respectable commentator for ESPN, but t’s time to calm down here Tommy. This isn’t the end of the world for Manchester United, Rooney’s United career, or England. In times like this it’s important to look at the calendar.

It’s currently mid February. If Rooney misses the maximum two months for this injury he will still return in mid to late February. He could be back in time for United’s home match against Aston Villa on April 16th. That would give him five matches and a full six weeks to get himself ready for Euro 2016 in France this summer. England fans shouldn’t be too worried about that.

He will miss a large chunk of time for Manchester United which could be a big issue for the club. On the other hand, despite Rooney’s terrific form over the past two months, his absence could force Louis van Gaal to turn to some youth, which could inject some new life into the team. After all, they can’t be much worse then they’ve been this season.

Unfortunately for Rooney, he’s no stranger to injuries, but if history has taught us anything it’s that Rooney always seems to come back from injury of his timeline. The idea that Wayne Rooney has played his last game for Manchester United is foolish. Even if Rooney took the full two months to recover from his injury he would still have five more games with United this season.

Thanks to this injury it’s highly likely that Rooney will return to United next year as well. Rooney currently has 244 career goals for Manchester United, just five behind Sir Bobby Charlton’s mark for the most in the club’s history. That’s a record that’s important for Rooney and if he can’t get on the field fast enough to capture that mark this season, it’s a safe bet that he’ll be back next year to go after it.

Rooney’s latest injury is certainly a big blow to Manchester United, but it’s not as bad as everyone initially made it out to be.

Pauly Kwestel

About Pauly Kwestel

Pauly is a Producer for WFAN in New York and the CBS Sports Radio Network. He has been writing about the beautiful game since 2010 and can be followed on twitter @pkwestelWFAN