Sir Alex Ferguson will send Wayne Rooney for a scan later this week to discover whether his worst fears are about to come true.
Only two weeks ago, Ferguson brusquely dismissed a question about what he would do if Rooney got injured, insinuating the inquisitor was trying to put a curse on Manchester United's season. Yet the sight of Rooney leaving the Allianz Arena on crutches on Wednesday night, wearing a protective boot around his right ankle, suggested the question showed remarkable foresight.
Ferguson was giving little away immediately after United's 2-1 defeat to Bayern Munich. He said: "It is too early to say. I don't think it's terribly serious, but we'll wait and see."
But whispers of a twisted ankle did circle the Red Devils camp, which if correct, would condemn the 24-year-United old to a period on the sidelines which could extend beyond a month.
As had decided to remain in Germany overnight before returning to Manchester, scans may end up being delayed until Thursday.
But it would be a major surprise if Rooney was fit for Saturday's crucial Premier League showdown with title rivals Chelsea, or the return against Bayern at Old Trafford next Wednesday.
Not that they will be that great in the Champions League in any case if they can do no better than they managed at the Allianz Arena. Only the wasteful finishing of Hamit Altintop and Ivica Olic prevented Bayern from drawing level by the break.
Man-of-the-match Edwin van der Sar kept United in the tie and Ferguson admitted the damage would have been far worse.
"Edwin saved us time and time again," he said. "He made so many fantastic saves and kept us in the game. Yes, we had some chances but Edwin kept us in the game.
"It wasn't a good goal to lose but the second leg is at home and I believe we have a strong chance."
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