Wayne Rooney reportedly injured Derby player Jason Knight with a ’50-50 tackle’ on the training ground.
The Rams avoided relegation to League One by a point last season but their preparations for the upcoming campaign have been eventful with financial problems and an EFL embargo meaning they have just nine registered senior players, two of those goalkeepers.
And now it’s reported that Derby have shot themselves in the foot – the Daily Telegraph claiming Rooney was responsible for the injury to Knight, who could be out for up to 12 weeks with the ankle injury.
The report adds the incident occurred during Derby’s training camp at Pennyhill Park, a luxury hotel in Surrey.
It’s understood it was accidental but it’s set to leave the 20-year-old midfielder sidelined for the first two months of the season.
“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,” Rooney 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.”
Knight was absent for Derby’s pre-season friendly defeat to Salford City last weekend and Rooney is scrambling to assemble a squad in time for Huddersfield’s visit to Pride Park Stadium in the 2021/22 Championship season’s opening weekend.
Derby are also in talks with the EFL over lifting the transfer embargo that has been placed on them.