Friday 24 March 2017

Capello says Fergie won’t risk Rooney

Rory Smith

Fabio Capello is confident Manchester United's medical staff will not gamble on Wayne Rooney's long-term fitness by allowing the striker to play against Bayern Munich tomorrow unless they are certain his ankle injury has healed, sources close to the England manager have indicated.

Rooney is rated as having a "40pc" chance of featuring against the Germans at Old Trafford despite initial estimates that he would be sidelined for "two to three weeks" after spraining his right ankle in the first leg seven days ago.

United insist that the striker remains most likely to return against Manchester City on April 17, but manager Alex Ferguson has agreed to give the player until the 11th hour to prove his fitness; Rooney returned to the club's Carrington training base over the weekend to work on his fitness and undergo treatment on a water treadmill.

The prospect of such a rapid return to action had raised the spectre of Rooney, so central to Capello's plans for the World Cup, suffering a relapse if his recuperation is rushed, but such concerns have been quashed by the England camp.

If Rooney fails to make it, Ferguson will have little choice but to persevere with Dimitar Berbatov as a lone frontman.

While Federico Macheda, who bundled home United's goal in their 2-1 defeat by Chelsea on Saturday, has been free of pain caused by a long-standing groin injury for two weeks now, Ferguson is unlikely to hand an 18-year-old the responsibility of firing United into the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Meanwhile, Arjen Robben believes his chances of featuring for Bayern Munich are "very good" after he came through an individual training session.

The former Chelsea winger, who missed Bayern's 2-1 first-leg victory with a calf injury, was put through several fitness tests on Sunday before undergoing a personalised training session watched by Bayern's medical staff yesterday.

Manager Louis van Gaal will decide whether to include the 26-year-old after today's training session at Old Trafford.

Robben, a £20m signing from Real Madrid last summer, will certainly make the trip to Manchester with his team-mates -- as will central defender Daniel van Buyten, who is another injury concern.

Robben -- dubbed one of his side's Baylacticos, along with Franck Ribery -- has scored an impressive 14 goals in 26 games in his first season in the Bundesliga.

Van Gaal will definitely welcome back Bastian Schweinsteiger, the German international midfielder, after he missed the first leg through suspension, and has promised to attack his hosts as his team search for the away goal which would ensure that United have to score three times or run the risk of a penalty shoot-out in order to progress. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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