Wayne Rooney is set to return to action for Manchester United against West Ham at Old Trafford here Saturday according to manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
England forward Rooney missed United’s 1-0 win at home to Barcelona on Tuesday, which saw the club into the Champions League final, because of a hip injury sustained during last weekend’s Premier League defeat against Chelsea.
United boss Ferguson, who will keep a close eye on Rooney’s fitness over the next few days, said Wednesday: “He (Rooney) may have a chance for Saturday.
“We just cancelled him out yesterday (Tuesday), he was in a lot of pain.
“It was his hip joint, he was never close to playing. It was out of the question,” the Scot added.
“He will be a lot better in a few days and involved on Saturday somewhere along the line.”
Patrice Evra is expected to recover from a knock but his fellow defender Nemanja Vidic remains doubtful with a facial injury sustained during a collision with Chelsea striker Didier Drogba at Stamford Bridge.
“Vidic is under the control of the doctor. He got a bit of concussion, so we have to be careful of that,” said Ferguson. “He may have a chance for Saturday.”
Reigning English champions United top the Premier League on goal difference alone after second-placed Chelsea drew level on 81 points with two games to go after their 2-1 win over Freguson’s men last Saturday.
Victory for United over the Hammers would up the pressure on Chelsea as the Blues don’t play in the Premier League again until Monday, when they are up against Newcastle.
United’s defeat of Spanish giants Barcelona has ensured the first final between two English clubs in the combined 52-year history of the European Cup and Champions League.
They will face the winners of the other semi-final between Chelsea and Liverpool, who play the second leg of their tie at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, in Moscow on May 21.
Chelsea have a slender advantage over Liverpool after scoring an away goal during a 1-1 draw in the first leg at Anfield.