• Wayne Rooney on Manchester United's bench (Getty Images)
Wayne Rooney could be thrown into action by Manchester United to solve a growing injury crisis that has left manager Jose Mourinho warning: "We're in trouble."
Source:
AAP
21 Apr 2017 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 21 Apr 2017 - 11:32 PM

Rooney has played just twice in two and a half months due to injury niggles - the latest being an ankle problem - and the fact he has dropped down the pecking order of strikers at United, behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rashford.

However, Ibrahimovic joined United's injury list on Friday when he hobbled off with an apparent right knee injury in the UEFA Europa League win over Anderlecht

Mourinho, meanwhile, said the 19-year-old Rashford "cannot play every game."

So Rooney could get an unexpectedly quick reprieve, starting perhaps at Burnley in the English Premier League on Sunday.

"He has a good mentality, he is a fighter, he is a strong man, even if he is not in the best condition, even if he is not in the level of sharpness that you need to play high-level football," Mourinho said of Rooney, 31. "But he has the experience and character, so he has to.

Mourinho fears the worst with Ibrahimovic, Rojo injuries
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said initial news over injuries to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo was "fairly negative".

"Now we need absolutely everyone."

United will be playing a game every three or four days through to the end of the season because of its involvement in the Europa League and a backlog of fixtures in the Premier League.

Players are playing through knocks, and Mourinho also has a real problem at center back with Marcos Rojo also getting injured on Friday to likely join fellow defenders Phil Jones and Chris Smalling on the sidelines.

Mourinho's only fit center back is Eric Bailly, although Daley Blind - usually a left back - can move inside and 19-year-old Axel Tuanzebe could also be promoted to the first team.

"We're in trouble. We're in trouble," Mourinho said. "In this moment, Eric Bailly played six matches in a row, and we lost Marcos Rojo, we don't have Jones or Smalling. We are in trouble."