Under-fire Derby County manager Wayne Rooney is facing further scrutiny after reportedly injuring one of his players, Jason Knight, with a crunch tackle on the training ground.
The Rams’ pre-season has been far from calm, with financial problems and an EFL embargo meaning they have just nine registered senior players, with two of those being goalkeepers.
It is certainly not the preparations Rooney would have hoped for, with Derby avoiding relegation from the Championship by just one point last season.
The report of how Knight’s injury occurred is just the latest low point in what has been a difficult few days for Rooney.
The former United star has also had to face the backlash of a number of photos, taken without his consent, being released and appearing to show him asleep in a hotel room with a group of young women.
There is no suggestion, however, that Rooney acted inappropriately.
Rooney’s representatives have confirmed the matter has been reported to police, with club officials having spoken to the Rams boss on Monday.
The Championship side will not be making any further comment while the investigation is ongoing.
But they have now been hit with another blow after the Telegraph reported that Rooney was responsible for the injury which has put midfielder Knight on the treatment table for up to 12 weeks.
The incident is said to have occurred during Derby’s training camp at Pennyhill Park, a luxury hotel in Surrey.
Rooney had been forced to take part in training due to the low numbers in his squad, with England’s record goalscorer going in for a challenge on Knight.
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But that tackle has left the 20-year-old with an ankle injury that is set to rule him out for two months of Derby’s season.
The report states that the tackle was a 50-50 and has been deemed an accident, but Knight still faces a significant spell on the sidelines.
Dervy are in talks with the EFL over lifting the transfer embargo that has been placed on them.
Knight missed Derby’s defeat to Salford City at the weekend, with Rooney stating the full impact of his injury.
“Jason will be out for eight to 12 weeks. He has rocked his ankle, thankfully, he doesn’t need surgery but needs the time to make sure he gets his ankle strong again,” the Derby boss said.
“Of course (it is a huge blow), everyone knows what Knighty brings to us, he is a fantastic player, great energy, and he will be a loss, but we have to deal with that.”
It now leaves Rooney scrambling to assemble a squad in time for when Huddersfield visit Pride Park for the opening game of the season a week on Saturday.
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