Wayne Rooney could be pressed into action at the Allianz Arena tomorrow against Bayern Munich after Manchester United manager David Moyes revealed details of a plan to involve the England striker.
Rooney had earlier been ruled out of United’s win against Newcastle United after sustaining a toe injury in the first leg of the Champions League quarter final at Old Trafford and was rated as uncertain to be involved against the Germans.
The prospect of Rooney playing with a painkilling injection was raised by Moyes who was desperate to include the England striker in the absence of injured Robin Van Persie and cup-tied Juan Mata.
“We’ll do everything we possibly can can. He’s not trained all week so we have to be wary.” admitted Moyes.
“We’ve taken advice from the doctors and Wayne’s happy to have an injection to play in the game, which shows you his feeling about the game and the club.
“Everyone knows what type of character Wayne is and how determined he is to play. We would be mad not to give him that opportunity.”
England manager Roy Hodgson could be sweating on Rooney’s fitness if he features in Munich.
Hodgson was present at the Etihad Stadium last Saturday to watch Manchester City beat a Southampton side packed with current and potentially future England Internationals but will have been disappointed to see Jay Rodriguez come off after landing awkwardly after winning the ball unchallenged.
Scans later confirmed that he had sustained knee ligament damage and would be out for six months.
Rooney, like many England strikers in recent years, has a history of playing poorly at major international tournaments due to carrying injuries sustained during the business end of the Premier League season.
Liverpool’s 2-1 win at West Ham on Sunday put them 17 points clear of United who have just five games of the season left and have therefore mathematically surrendered the title this season.
With Champions League qualification through a fourth place finish in the Barclays Premier League also looking unlikely with the Reds seven points behind Arsenal there’s simply virtually nothing for United to play for this season.
Nothing, that is, apart from a crack at winning this season’s Champions League (and therefore qualifying for next season’s tournament) amidst the strongest quarter final line-up in years and up against the current holders of the title.
It could well be the last Champions League tie Manchester United play for some time to come unless Moyes can surprise even the most cynical United fan in Munich tomorrow.
Hodgson, in the meantime, will be praying that Rooney doesn’t hurt himself further while trying to keep United’s season alive.