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Wayne Rooney set to be sidelined for another fortnight

Wayne Rooney is targeting a return to action in mid-April, according to a report in the Telegraph.

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Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is hoping to return to action after knee ligament damage when the Reds take on Aston Villa in a fortnight's time. That's according to the Telegraph's James Ducker, who seems to be well-connected in these sorts of affairs.

Ducker's story, understandably, focuses more on the ramifications for England than those for United. He notes that Rooney is "likely to have less than a month to prove his fitness to Roy Hodgson" ahead of the squad selection for the European Championships. Unfortunately, Rooney is as undroppable for England as he is for United, and even if it meant playing in a wheelchair, he'll almost certainly be on the field when the Three Lions take on Russia in June.

The story's juiciest titbit is instead that "Rooney faced the threat of an even more severe injury that would have ruled him out of the European Championship finals altogether after being instructed by his United manager, Louis van Gaal, to play through the pain against Sunderland." We've got to admire van Gaal's efforts at killing him off once and for all -- pity it didn't quite come off.