SAF: No pressure on United medics

After declaring Rooney had “no chance” of being involved barely 24
hours before the game, Ferguson named the England star in his
starting line-up for the quarter-final second leg tie. Ferguson
confirmed the decision had only been taken following consultation
with his medical team and Rooney, who all agreed the risk to the
ankle he damaged during the first leg in Munich a week previously
was minimal. As it turned out, Rooney went over on the same ankle
in the first half and was clearly struggling before Ferguson
substituted him with over half an hour remaining following the
dismissal of Rafael. Ferguson is confident the 24-year-old will be
fit for the Manchester derby at Eastlands on April 17, although he
is unlikely to make Sunday’s trip to Blackburn. That assessment
should at least ease the concerns of England manager Fabio Capello,
who was at Old Trafford last night, with Ferguson adamant the
correct procedures had been followed. “I never force the medical
staff into anything,” said Ferguson. “Their job is difficult. It is
important they make the right decisions about players’ fitness.
They made the right decision. The medical staff did not see any
problem.” Although Rooney did not add to his 34 goals, he was a
central figure in United’s flying start, that seemed certain to
secure a semi-final berth. His presence alone galvanised the Old
Trafford crowd, which Ferguson also recognised as he went through
his starting line-up. “Wayne was keen to have a go and it did have
an impact on the crowd,” said the United boss. “It gave them all a
lift.”