England fans start to sweat as extent of sprain still to be revealed
They've had metatarsals (Beckham, Rooney, Neville), cruciate ligaments (Owen), and achilles tendons (Beckham again). Now the English nation turns its expertise to sprained ankles.
Ankle injuries are common in football and only a scan can determine how severe the damage is in Rooney's case -- he visited an MRI scanner in Manchester yesterday.
The results, as yet, are unknown, but Professor Angus Wallace, orthopaedic surgeon and sports injury specialist of Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, who saw Rooney stumble and clutch his leg on television, confirmed initial thoughts that Rooney will most likely miss several weeks, though news that he was walking on the plane will be gladly received by England fans.
"Rooney is not the sort to over-react," said Wallace. "I suspect there is a significant injury. The inversion probably tore the lateral ligament. The question is the extent of the tear."
He warned there was likely to be the usual flood of suggestions for speeding healing, such as using an oxygen tent as David Beckham did when he damaged his ankle in 2002.
"There is no evidence that oxygen tents work, but what has really changed in recent years is that we start moving the joint much more quickly, within two or three weeks. This is backed by good evidence which shows healing is much better."
There are three grades of sprains. Grade 1 means there has been some stretching or minor tearing of ligaments. Grade 2 means there has been moderate tearing, causing pain and difficulty walking. Grade 3 means total rupture with severe pain and swelling. Mild sprains start to get better in a days. Severe ones may involve months of rehabilitation.
- Darren Fletcher is hoping Manchester United can make home advantage pay as they face a week that could break their season.
"We always say we fancy ourselves against anyone at Old Trafford," said Fletcher.
"Bayern are a good side but the good thing about this club is that after a disappointing result we always seem to respond."
"It's a major blow not to have Wayne available because he has had a fantastic season," said Fletcher.
"He scored again for us last night and he is quite obviously one of the best players in the world. But we have other good players. If Wayne isn't available, we will rally round.
"Berbatov, Valencia and Giggs came off the bench against Bayern so we still have a lot of quality." (© Independent News Service)