Rooney set for Man United return

Published Nov. 19, 2010 1:31 p.m. ET

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said Friday fit-again Wayne Rooney could be among the team's substitutes for Saturday's Premier League match against Wigan.

The England striker last appeared for United when he came off the bench in the 2-2 draw with West Brom on Oct. 16.

But after recovering from an ankle injury following a period of recuperation in Dubai and the United States, Rooney is set to make his return.

"I don't think he'll start tomorrow. Maybe he will reach the bench," Ferguson said.

Ferguson added Friday that Rooney will definitely play in United's Champions League match at Rangers on Wednesday.

"Wayne's done a week of intense work, so he's not done a lot of football work. We need to assess that a little more closely. We sent him to America to isolate him in an intensive situation so the concentration was purely on the training."

Wigan have lost all of their previous 11 encounters with United and Rooney has scored nine times against the club, leading manager Roberto Martinez to hope the striker's comeback is delayed.


"You don't want Wayne Rooney to come back against you," Martinez said. "If Rooney plays then the task will be harder because he is one of the best players in world football.

"At the moment it is going to be as if he is a new player, a fresh player. When you have his talent, you don't have to be 100 per cent fit or play well for 90 minutes to have an important role in any game."

Since his last match for United, Rooney has threatened to leave the club before changing his mind and signing a new five-year contract.