Wayne Rooney knee injury caused by slipping on bottle in dressing room to add to England captain's embarrassment

Rooney was ruled out of the friendly draw with Spain after he slipped over following the 3-0 victory over Scotland last week

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The Independent Football

The knee injury that ruled Wayne Rooney out of England’s 2-2 draw with Spain on Tuesday was picked up after the national team captain slipped on a bottle inside the Wembley changing rooms, it has emerged.

Rooney played the full 90 minutes in the 3-0 victory over Scotland last Friday, but manager Gareth Southgate revealed the following day that his skipper had picked up a knee injury and would start the friendly against Spain on the substitutes’ bench as a result. Come Sunday, Rooney had been ruled out of the match completely and sent back to Manchester United, although he would have much bigger problems on his hands come Monday as The Sun published photographs of him drunk after a late-night drinking session at the team’s hotel on Saturday night.

While the fallout from the international break has focused around Rooney’s responsibility as captain – he has issued a public apology for his actions – and led to suggestions that he could even be stripped of wearing the armband, The Times has revealed the strange circumstances that led to the injury.

Rooney is reported to have slipped on a bottle containing an energy drink when he returned into the home dressing room at Wembley on Friday night, and while he is not being blamed at all for the freak accident, it does expose the 31-year-old to further embarrassment in a forgettable week.

The sight of the Manchester United captain intoxicated at a wedding after-party at The Grove Hotel in Watford has caused widespread debate over the seriousness of his actions, with many ex-professional footballers leaping to Rooney’s defence along with Premier League managers Jürgen Klopp, Sean Dyche and Mauricio Pochettino.

Others though have condemned Rooney’s action given he is supposed to be a role model as the most high-profile figure in English football, and a further report released by The Sun on Friday claims Rooney’ ignored Southgate’s instruction for him to call it a night and continued drinking into the early hours of the morning.

Southgate defended Rooney following Tuesday’s match and said his absence was solely down to his knee injury, but his position to sanction the striker over the ordeal is somewhat confused given that Southgate does not know if he will be named permanent manager after taking charge of the national team on a four-match interim basis.

FA chief executive Martin Glenn was cautious in his approach to how the governing body will handle Rooney and any subsequent disciplinary action, as he admitted that they will look into the case but are keen no to blow it out of proportion. Rooney was not alone in drinking that night, with teammate Phil Jagielka also pictured while it was reported that a number of the coaching and medical staff were also out along with an FA official. This incensed United manager Jose Mourinho, who believes that Rooney has been made a scapegoat, and has led Glenn to lead an investigation into those who were reported to be present at the after-party.

“We are getting a proper investigation into what actually went on and whether FA staff were involved, yes or no,” Glenn said on Thursday. “It’s disappointing and it’s appropriate that he apologised as it doesn’t set a great tone for the England captain, but I don’t want to over- dramatise this either.

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The 31-year-old's England future could now be in jeopardy (Getty)

“Why on earth you would be doing that given there is a team agreement around alcohol consumption when on camp . . . so there would be questions asked for sure.”

The FA has already decided to ban players from having nights out while on international duty, and England rugby head coach Eddie Jones also issued a partial jibe on Thursday when he confirmed that there are no curfews or bans on his squad because they have a “strong leadership group” that know what is acceptable and what isn’t.

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