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Wayne Rooney misses D.C. United training with 'flulike symptoms’

Wayne Rooney recorded four goals and three assists in the first five matches. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

D.C. United star Wayne Rooney, who did not play Tuesday because of a red-card suspension, did not practice Wednesday because of an illness, club officials said.

United (3-1-2) is scheduled to fly to Denver on Thursday ahead of Saturday’s match against the winless Colorado Rapids.

The illness also prevented him from attending Audi Field for the 0-0 draw against the Montreal Impact on Tuesday.

“Wayne informed us that he had flulike symptoms, meaning he missed [attending] last night’s game and training this morning,” said Chris Hull, United’s vice president for media and public relations.

Suspended players typically watch home games from the stands or a private suite.

As the team captain, Rooney figured to join his teammates before and after the match. He missed a pregame appearance with three Washington Capitals players and was not visible in the locker room afterward.

Initially, several club officials said they did not know whether he was in attendance. The explanation for the absences was shared midday Wednesday.

United is eager to get him back in the lineup after it recorded no shots on goal and created few threatening situations during a drab performance against defensive-minded Montreal.

Since his celebrated arrival last summer, Rooney had played in each of the 25 matches bridging two seasons and recorded 16 goals and 10 assists.

While Rooney will return at some point soon, Coach Ben Olsen is confronting a back-line crisis. Already thin at the wide positions, United lost left back Chris McCann to a hamstring injury and right back Leonardo Jara to a shoulder injury, both in the second half.

McCann probably will miss a few weeks, while Jara could be back soon.

D.C. already is without first-choice left back Joseph Mora, who is recovering from surgery to repair a fractured jaw, suffered March 31 at Orlando City.

Additionally, outside backs Oniel Fisher (knee surgery) and Chris Odoi-Atsem (return from cancer treatments) are not available. Odoi-Atsem is training at a limited capacity, but Fisher experienced complications from the October surgery and might not play this season.

Midfielder Paul Arriola, who started on the back line at times last year and filled in there during the second half Tuesday, seems likely to start on defense against Colorado. Jalen Robinson, a late sub in two of the past three matches, is also in the mix for a starting assignment.

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