Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Reds Made to Sweat as Rooney's Left Limping ; United: Countdown to the 168th Derby

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Reds Made to Sweat as Rooney's Left Limping ; United: Countdown to the 168th Derby

Article excerpt

WAYNE Rooney is a doubt for this weekend's Manchester derby after picking up an injury in training.

The 29-year-old missed the last three games through suspension after his red card against West Ham.

He played and scored in England's Euro 2016 qualifiers against San Marino and Estonia but hasn't featured for United for more than a month.

He was due to return against City at the Etihad on Sunday, but his participation is now in doubt with the striker seen limping at a commercial event held by the Reds yesterday, although the problem is not thought to be too serious.

Radamel Falcao is expected to return after missing the 1-1 draw with Chelsea with a foot injury.

Van Gaal said: "Falcao took a kick in training on Thursday and couldn't play because of that. We'll have to wait and see, but I don't think the injury is too bad."

However, Van Gaal has admitted he doesn't know when Phil Jones will be fit again after shin splints kept him out of the game against Chelsea.

Jones missed four games with a hamstring injury he suffered on international duty in September.

He made his comeback in the 2-2 draw with West Brom last week before being ruled out again.

Van Gaal added: "Jones has shin splints, so we'll have to wait and see because it's not too easy to recover from."

Should Rooney shake off the scare, it will leave van Gaal with a dilemma over United's trio of strikers.

Van Persie, Rooney and Falcao have shown promise this campaign but belated starts, suspensions, international breaks and injuries have halted their momentum.

Falcao should be available for the derby and although it is not unthinkable that he should start on the bench, it is an occasion he was signed for.

And it is a fixture Rooney has relished more than any other. Since seeing a strike deflect off Richard Dunne and past David James as a teen, Rooney has tormented City. …

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