Wayne Rooney Absent from Manchester United Squad for Midtjylland Trip

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Wayne Rooney Absent from Manchester United Squad for Midtjylland Trip
Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney has been omitted from the 18-man squad travelling to face FC Midtjylland in Denmark on Thursday for the first leg of their UEFA Europa League last-32 tie.

Rooney's absence was reported on the Red Devils' website, with manager Louis van Gaal later confirming that the club captain has a knee problem, via MUTV (h/t the club's official Twitter feed):

James Ducker of the Times suggested Rooney will miss up to two months.

His will likely be a huge loss for United, as Rooney has been in fine form in 2016, scoring seven goals in nine appearances in all competitions, according to WhoScored.com.

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Matteo Darmian is also absent, as expected, after he was taken off in the first half of Saturday's game against Sunderland with a shoulder injury. Rooney, though, played the full 90 minutes against the Black Cats.

United have a packed schedule ahead of them, with three matches to play in six days next week: the FA Cup fifth-round tie against Shrewsbury Town, the return leg against Midtjylland and a home clash with Arsenal in the Premier League.

Van Gaal has notably called on a few youngsters for the European trip, with Joe Riley and Regan Poole each getting a call-up. That's a positive sign, according to the Manchester Evening News' Samuel Luckhurst:

United are undoubtedly the favourites to advance against Midtjylland but will likely be happy to take a draw with them back to Old Trafford for the second leg.

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