Rooney laid low by virus

Striker Wayne Rooney is set to miss the opening match of Manchester United's Premier League campaign on 17 August after picking up a virus.

Striker Wayne Rooney is set to miss the opening match of Manchester United's Premier League campaign on 17 August after picking up a virus.

The 22-year-old contracted the mystery virus on United's pre-season tour of Nigeria and has not trained since.

"I doubt Wayne will be fit for the start of the season," said United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

"It's a virus he picked up in Nigeria and it's not a nice one. He's not been back in training yet."

Ferguson revealed Rooney's illness was diagnosed by the club's own laboratory.

He also added that the squad had only taken malaria tablets ahead of the trip to Africa.

Rooney's sudden illness leaves Ferguson facing a selection dilemma ahead of the opening match of the season at home to Newcastle.

Cristiano Ronaldo will miss the first two months of the season following ankle surgery regardless of whether he moves to Real Madrid or stays at Old Trafford.

Portuguese midfielder Nani is suspended while Anderson is on Olympic duty with Brazil.

Rooney's problems could also reignite Ferguson's interest in signing Tottenham forward Dimitar Berbatov. - BBC

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