Date: 13th February 2009 at 2:01pm
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It looks like that the United coaching staff desperately want to avoid rushing back Rooney from his hamstring injury which is wise, seeing that we’ll need the lad for the big games which are yet to come.

Mike Phelan revealed that Rooney could make the bench in Sunday’s FA Cup tie at Derby County but they won’t take unnecessary risks with him.

“We`re still assessing Wayne,’ he said. ‘He`s done a little bit of work but we`re not going to rush him. We have some big games coming up, so we`ll ease him back in, but do it as quickly as we can.

‘If he`s available on Sunday, terrific. If not, we`ll look at it for the next game against Fulham. We have numerous players in the squad that we can use. We`ll assess that on Saturday or Sunday.”


As for the other absentees: Rio Ferdinand missed Wednesday’s friendly international in Seville with an upset stomach and though he did not train on Thursday he felt better and should be available.

Patrice Evra and Jonny Evans have recovered from their respective injuries and are fit to play at Pride Park. Interestingly enough, Evans picked up his injury against Derby, in the Carling Cup.

Still no news about Anderson who had sustained an ankle injury in the same game but he should be back soon as he had been expected to miss three weeks.