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Ireland midfielder Knight's untimely injury reportedly caused by tackle by Derby boss Rooney

The 20-year-old will miss three World Cup qualifiers in September as well as the start of crisis-club Derby’s season.

Derby manager Wayne Rooney (L) and midfielder Jason Knight (R).
Derby manager Wayne Rooney (L) and midfielder Jason Knight (R).
Image: Nick Potts

THE INJURY WHICH has ruled Jason Knight out of the Republic of Ireland’s upcoming World Cup qualfiers and could see him miss the first two months of the English Championship season was caused by a tackle by his manager at Derby County, Wayne Rooney, according to a report in The Telegraph.

Rooney — who was partaking in training due to the lack of players in his first-team squad — entered a 50:50 challenge with Knight which has ruled the 20-year-old Dubliner out for eight to 12 weeks at a time when his services could scarcely have been more important to his country and his club.

Derby are under an English Football League transfer embargo that prevents them making permanent signings from other clubs and Knight is one of just seven outfield players currently signed to Rooney’s outfit. The Republic of Ireland, meanwhile, travel to Portugal for a World Cup qualifier on 1 September before hosting Azerbaijan (4 September) and Serbia (7 Serbia) at the Aviva Stadium, fixtures for which Knight will now be unavailable.

On Knight’s injury, Rooney said on Saturday after a 2-1 defeat at Salford: “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.

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“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.”

Derby are currently negotiating with the EFL over lifting a “full” transfer embargo, which will permit them to sign free agents or players on six-month loans. It is expected that this will be greenlit.

Rooney has endured a difficult few days after photographs of him asleep in a bedroom with a group of young women went viral over the weekend. There is no suggestions that Rooney — who appeared to be asleep on a chair — was involved in any wrongdoing or indeed even realised what was happening around him, but he has reported the photographs to the Greater Manchester Police.

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