It seems my fear, dread and worry over the past few months has somehow manifested itself into an Atlantic Ocean-traveling orb of negativity. It’s left my old injured knee in Southeastern America, and traveled the 4,000 some miles to Manchester, England and snuck into the knee of the man I place my footballing hopes and dreams upon, Mr. Wayne Rooney.
My reverse self-fulfilling prophecy that Rooney would somehow pick up a niggle, knack or knock has consumed my days, nights and worst nightmares for the better part of 2010. My negative thoughts were justified last Sunday when I read a tweet that sees “squeaky bum time” approaching from The Times Oliver Kay that went something like this:
I immediately got that sinking feeling. You know, the one you get when you find out your girl is getting off with your best mate behind your back, or the one you get when you’ve been asked to speak in front of a room of total strangers. I knew this was going to happen and in some minor way I feel like I’ve contributed to this injury. For that, I apologize.
I suppose the sky may not be totally falling and my hopes are that I’ve reached the extent of my over exaggeration. Initial reports suggest Rooney may be rested for this weekend’s trip to Bolton and that the injury, for the most part, hasn’t kept Rooney from playing for United, but largely just caused him discomfort and swelling after matches. As bad an omen as a swollen knee sounds, shouldn’t a bit of rest and rehab see the knock cured?
I do realize though that I don’t need to go into detail just how valuable Rooney is for club and country in the upcoming months. I realize there’s no reason for me to mention the Champions League quarter-final v Bayern Munich (hopefully followed by a semi and a final), or the all important business end of the Premier League season as United hold in their hands their fourth title in a row, or that small little event this summer where 32 countries will all be involved, so I won’t mention any of those massive events.
So here we stand Manchester United and England supporters, a handful of matches left to win an unprecedented fourth title in a row, and a slightly bigger handful of days until England kick a ball in anger against the United States. Our hero, our little buddy, our friend, is facing the most important run of fixtures he’ll likely see in his young career.
Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill? Or, is this knee knock really something to be concerned about? The last thing I want to experience again is a World Cup Finals with an unfit Rooney. Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt.
Whatever your opinion, there’s a lot riding on that English knee, and I for one hope it sorts itself out sooner rather than later.