The Manchester United striker will miss two games, including the FA Cup semi-final showdown with derby rivals City, after being suspended over his outburst at West Ham last Saturday.
However, United old boy Bruce was quick to point out in the mitigating factors and bemoan the England international's absence form such a key match.
Banned: Wayne Rooney will miss the FA Cup semi-final
He said: 'We all know that there are certain areas where you can't go. It's a shame because Wayne Rooney is playing at the top of his game at the moment.
'I have done things this season where you cringe when you see yourself on the TV celebrate a goal or do something stupid.
'Sometimes you get caught up in the heat of the moment and it passes you by and you do things at the time which you regret afterwards.
'It's unfortunate because it's taken away from the kid playing so well just at the right time.
'He is playing fantastically well and he will be a big miss for the big semi-final.'
Bruce admitted the incident may have gone unnoticed during his playing days, but was always going to be picked up in the current era.
Sympathy: Steve Bruce admitted the incident would have gone unnoticed in his playing days
He said: 'The one thing about the cameras all around the ground, it has sent this Premier League that we play in all around the world, so we are not going start saying it's their fault.
'But they are everywhere you look now and you can't get away with anything, and that has changed.
'For example 10, 15 years ago, we got one game live a week, didn't we? We see most games now and big highlights, so it's part and parcel of it.
'But it has changed, of course it has.'
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