Wayne Rooney Ready for Early Manchester United Return
Much expectation has surrounded the return of Wayne Rooney, but the forward has not scored in a major tournament since he broke onto the international scene at Euro 2004. (Photo: Reuters)
There's good news in store for Manchester United fans as their star striker Wayne Rooney is all set to make a comeback. And his return could be as early as Wednesday's Capital One Cup game against Newcastle United.
Rooney has been out since he suffered a deep gash on his right thigh in a freak collision at Old Trafford while challenging Fulham's Hugo Rodallega. United won the English Premier League game against the London club August 25.
Rooney's absence has left manager Sir Alex Ferguson with no options but playing with Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa in attack.
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Now with Rooney's rehab coming to an end and it's earlier-than-expected, Ferguson is all set to rotate the forward line especially with most of the options in place.
In fact, Rooney has actually been training with United's first-team since last week and could be part of the squad against Newcastle.
According to media reports, fears that the 26-year-old striker would be out for at least two months were unfounded when scans on his thigh muscle ruled out any major damage.
However, chances are that Ferguson may still not play Rooney Wednesday, holding him back for more important Premier League and Champions League games over the weekend.
The Red Devils take on Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford Saturday and play Romanian side Cluj in the Champions League Tuesday.
However, United captain Nemanja Vidic may miss Saturday's match against Tottenham.
Vidic has been complaining of stiffness in his right knee since Sunday's Premier League victory against Liverpool in an emotionally charged match at Anfield.
Anfield hosted United after Hillsborough Independent Panel cleared Liverpool's fans of blame for the massive human crush that led to deaths of 96 supporters during the FA Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forrest April 15, 1989.
Currently, United are sitting pretty on the second spot on the Premiership table with 12 points. They are just one point adrift leaders Chelsea.
In the Champions League, United are currently second in Group H with three points. They are behind leaders Cluj who have a better goal difference than the English club.
Turkish club Galatasaray are third and Portuguese club Braga are fourth. Both are yet to register a win.