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Rooney ruled out of festive calendar

ALEX FERGUSON is hoping to have Ashley Young and Phil Jones available for Manchester United's Premier League match with West Brom - but Wayne Rooney will definitely be absent.

Rooney missed United's 4-3 win over Newcastle yesterday after suffering a training ground injury on Christmas Day and Ferguson confirmed the striker will sit out the remainder of the festive programme.

"It was a volley towards the end of training," said Ferguson.

"He did a ligament at the back of his knee and could be out for two to three weeks."

Rooney will miss Premier League matches against West Brom and Wigan, in addition to the FA Cup third round tie at West Ham on January 5.

He also faces a race against time to face Liverpool at Old Trafford on January 13.

For Ferguson it was particularly disappointing given Rooney's poor performance at Swansea on Sunday.

"After his performance on Sunday I think he would have been brilliant today," said Ferguson. "You don't have two performances like he did on Sunday. Unfortunately we couldn't risk him."

With Danny Welbeck also missing after being taken ill at the team hotel on Christmas night, Ferguson is thankful the minor, if unspecified, knocks that kept Young and Jones out of yesterday's Old Trafford thriller should prove to be short term.

"Ashley Young also got injured and Phil Jones got injured against Swansea," said Ferguson.

"They should both be OK for Saturday, and I will also have Tom Cleverley and Darren Fletcher, who are fresh."

In addition, skipper Nemanja Vidic, who was on the bench for the Newcastle victory, might be available to shore up United's leaky defence.