Rooney ready to return

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson expects to have the England forward

available after he did not even make the substitutes’ bench for the

3-2 home defeat to Blackburn on New Year’s Eve. It is understood

that Ferguson did fine Rooney, and Republic of Ireland

international Darron Gibson, and forced the pair to train on their

day off last week after ill-advised conduct on Boxing Day night.

Neither the club nor the player’s representative wished to

elaborate on the matter, nor even to confirm Rooney was axed from

Saturday’s 3-2 defeat to Blackburn as part of his punishment.

United quickly need to regain their focus after being granted a

Premier League reprieve thanks to Sunderland’s late win over

leaders Manchester City. Ferguson told Sirius XM radio station:

“We’re trying hard to get Rio Ferdinand for (Wednesday) and Ryan

Giggs which would make a good difference to us. “Anderson should be

better, he had 45 minutes on Saturday after four months out. There

are no other ones to come back immediately. And Wayne Rooney will

be available of course. “We had a few training sessions which he

missed. You’ve got to be fit to play in this league, you can’t miss

training sessions.” Asked about United’s injury problems, which

have also included the loss of defender Nemanja Vidic for the rest

of the season, Ferguson added: “We’re getting a lot of impact

injuries, contact injuries. Maybe the way we play creates that

because we’re always wanting to have the ball and we’re always

wanting to play.”