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An anxious nation awaits the results of Rooney ankle scan ...
by Paul Kennedy, March 30th, 2010 4:45PM
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TAGS:  england, germany, uefa champions league


[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] To his detriment, Wayne Rooney was everywhere at Allianz Arena Tuesday night.

He scored the first goal for Manchester United -- his 34th of the season -- after only two minutes, had Franck Ribery's free kick deflect off him for the Bayern Munich equalizer an hour and a quarter later and was desperately trying to help protect the away tie when Mario Gomez accidentally stepped on his foot in the Bayern half in the dying seconds of stoppage time.

Not only did United lose the game on the ensuing play, but Rooney went down with an ankle injury. According to midday reports out of England on Wednesday, he might be sidelined for as long as a month, though the extent of the damage to his ligaments won't be known until after an MRI is performed.

The Bayern Munich-Manchester United match in the quarterfinals of the Champions League brought back memories of their meeting in the 1999 final won by United on two late goals. On Tuesday, history repeated itself -- only in reverse.

Bayern deservedly won, 2-1, on two late goals, the second by Croatia Ivica Olic in stoppage time.

Rooney was injured when Mario Gomez accidentally stepped on Rooney's left foot, forcing the Englishman to land awkwardly on his right ankle in the Bayern half. The United star had to be helped off the field and left Allianz Arena on crutches.

His foot was in a protective boot and will be scanned on Wednesday.

There were concerns that Rooney could face a layoff of up to six weeks -- long enough that he'd miss the rest of the Premier League but short enough that he could come back for the World Cup and England's opener against the USA on June 12.

"He's obviously hurt his ankle," said United manager Alex Ferguson immediately after the game. "It's too early to say. I don't think it's terribly serious."

Images of the grimacing Rooney being helped off the field, and England fans waited nervously results of a MRI on his injured foot -- the 12th leg or foot injury of his career.

"Not since Cinderella has so much rested on one foot," said the Daily Mail. "Pray," declared the Sun. "England's worst nightmare," added the Times.

Olic scored when he stole the ball from French defender Patrice Evra in the penalty area after Gomez's initial charge was stopped. Olic moved to his left before beating goalie Edwin van der Saar.

The goal concluded a wild final minutes to the match that included a header by Nemanja Vidic off the Bayern crossbar and a several Bayern chances.

Frenchman Franck Ribery, who had an excellent game, equalized for Bayern on a free kick that deflected off Rooney in the 77th minute.

Rooney scored for United in the second minute. It was his 34th goal of the season.

Ferguson bemoaned United's failure to hold on to the ball.

"The first goal was a bit of luck with a deflection but the last goal, I don't know how you describe it. The game was done and we gave a terrible goal away."

He still feels the series is winnable.

"Old Trafford will be a different game, obviously," he added. "We will be much better, no doubt about that, and hopefully we can recover. We have the away goal and we'll go out to win the game."

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