England blow as Rooney is ruled out for three weeks

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ENGLAND will be without striker Wayne Rooney against Montenegro next month after Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson revealed he needs up to three weeks to recover from an ankle injury. Rooney’s setback is a blow to Ferguson ahead of tonight’s Group C trip to Valencia, with evergreen duo Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs also missing against the Spanish league leaders.

But the development will also severely affect the plans of England head coach Fabio Capello, who now faces a major forward shortage for the Euro 2012 qualifier on 12 October, having already seen Jermain Defoe and Bobby Zamora ruled out.

“It will be two to three weeks,” said Ferguson. “But it depends because Wayne has done quite well with his recovery from injury in the past. It is a straightforward ankle injury. And it is not the same one he did in Munich [in last year’s Champions League quarter-final].”

Ferguson could recall England captain Rio Ferdinand as he goes in search of his first win in this season’s competition, having rested the defender for the 2-2 draw at Bolton on Sunday.

Midfielder Scholes, who has been among United’s most effective players this term, is expected to be out for 10 days with a calf problem.