England captain Wayne Rooney has pulled out of the squad for the friendly against Spain, The Football Association have confirmed. The Manchester United skipper is now a doubt for the Premier League visit of Arsenal after missing training on Monday [14 November] with a knee injury which will be assessed further to determine the full extend of the damage
The country's record international goalscorer was not due to start the game on Tuesday [15 November] - with Gareth Southgate preferring to rotate for his final match in interim charge of the team. The problem was not expected to be serious enough to keep the 30-year-old from being named on the bench however, he has now been forced him to withdraw less than 24 hours before kick-off.
Liverpool's Jordan Henderson will lead England for the second time against Spain, having taken the armband for the World Cup qualifying draw with Slovenia. United meanwhile will provide an update over Rooney's fitness for the visit of Arsenal later in the week.
Rooney joins Harry Kane in pulling out of the England squad after the 3-0 World Cup qualifying win over Scotland. Goals from Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Gary Cahill delivered the second win of Southgate's tenure in charge since replacing Sam Allardyce.
"Wayne Rooney has left the England squad and returned to Manchester United," a statement on The FA's website read. "The striker sat out this morning's session at Tottenham Hotspur's training ground as a precaution due to a minor knee injury. However, with Gareth Southgate already set to rest his captain for the visit of Spain to Wembley Stadium tomorrow night, Rooney has been allowed to return to his club for further assessment."
Though Rooney's return to United sees him avoid damaging the troublesome knee problem further, there is cause for concern for manager Jose Mourinho who is already facing a selection crisis for the Premier League visit of Arsenal on 19 November. Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss the game through suspension, while Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly have both been ruled out through injury.
Antonio Valencia and Marouane Fellaini are also doubtful, while Luke Shaw has missed four of United's last six Premier League games with minor fitness concerns. Mourinho criticised the durability of members of his squad after the win at Swansea City prior to the international break and the Portuguese coach may need his team to play through the pain barrier when their campaign resumes.