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Injuries to Rooney, Fabregas harm World Cup hopes for England, Spain

March 31, 2010 |  5:18 pm

Injury_240 Two of international soccer's most well-known names, Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney and Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas, have been laid low by injuries sustained while playing for their clubs in the quarterfinals of the European Champions League.

On Tuesday, in the closing moments of a 2-1 loss to Bayern Munich in Germany, Rooney sprained his right ankle and, according to reports in England, will be sidelined for two to four weeks. Neither Manchester United nor the England national team has yet issued a formal statement to that effect.

Rooney has scored 34 goals for Manchester United this season and is the focal point of England's World Cup attack.

On Wednesday, five minutes before the end of Arsenal's 2-2 tie with reigning champions FC Barcelona in London, Fabregas was tackled from behind by Barcelona defender Carles Puyol and is believed to have broken a bone in his leg.

Depending on the seriousness of the injury, it could put Fabregas' place on Spain's World Cup roster in jeopardy. The Spanish player, who has scored  a team-high 19 goals this season, said he would not know the extent of the injury until Thursday.

"I fear the worst, which is that I have broken something," Fabregas, 22, said. "I do not think it is going to be good news, but still I hope there will be."

For a full reports on Tuesday's Champions League quarterfinal games, please see:,0,4909457.story

For a report on Wednesday's two quarterfinals, please check this evening.

-- Grahame L. Jones

Photo: Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas reacts after sustaining a leg injury on Wednesday. Credit: Tom Hevezi / Associated Press.