Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has confirmed Wayne Rooney is fit to face West Brom on Saturday.
There had been serious concern around Old Trafford that Rooney had suffered a season-ending injury against Everton last Sunday.
Initial tests on his knee were inconclusive, and Rooney was deemed fit enough to travel to London for the PFA Player of the Year dinner last Sunday. But there was fear that Rooney sustained knee ligament damage which would have ruled the United captain out for one month – thus eliminating him from the rest of the season.
However, speaking at his pre-match press conference earlier today, Louis van Gaal eased those fears and updated United fans on the overall health of the squad.
“Rooney is fit to play, it was not so heavy as we expected,” Van Gaal explained. “Wayne is very important for us, so I am very happy.”
The manager went on to say that Michael Carrick will not be available for Saturday’s match against West Brom, as well as defenders Jonny Evans and Luke Shaw.
Phil Jones is fit and has resumed training, but the manager was reluctant to reveal whether or not the England international is ready to play for an extended period on Saturday.
“Jones is fit but we have to see his match rhythm, of course,” Van Gaal added. “But Shaw has trouble with his groin so he cannot play.
“It is unbelievable. For six weeks [Jonny Evans] had nothing and he could not play or participate in the selection [due to suspension] and then he had an injury. It is unbelievable, but it is true.”
Robin van Persie could be in line for a start after the striker scored twice for the Under-21s on Monday. But once again, Van Gaal hesitated to confirm whether the Dutch striker’s name would be written into the starting eleven.
“He played 80 minutes, and I think that’s good,” Van Gaal concluded. “When you score two goals also, it gives a boost for the confidence of Robin.
“He can play but we have to wait and see if I let him play, of course.”
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