Wayne Rooney expects to be available for the final 10 games of Manchester United’s season after stressing that his injury recovery is on track.
The 30-year-old has been sidelined since February 13 with a knee problem and United boss Louis van Gaal sparked fears he could sit out the remainder of the campaign when he refused to put a precise timeframe on his recovery period at the weekend.
England boss Roy Hodgson said this month that his captain was guaranteed a place in the Euro 2016 squad, but admitted he was concerned about a possible lack of fitness ahead of the tournament.
But Rooney has moved to calm any fears over a setback in his plans and is confident he will be back in action not long after the international break this month.
“Everything is going as planned,” he told the media at a sponsor event. “Rehab is going well but, hopefully, it won’t be too long.
“I don’t know [when I will return]. Obviously, I will miss the international games but, hopefully, it won’t be too long. It’s not too bad but obviously it’s [a case of] just being a bit cautious. It’s difficult to push back. If I tried to push it to be involved now, it could cause more damage. So, being cautious, after the international break is more realistic.
“I am hoping that, if I am back when I am expected to be back, depending on the two cups we are in, then there could be over 10 games left plus the England games.
“I was saying before it has been eight games that I have missed. I didn’t realise it was that many so it’s obviously really frustrating. Myself, the manager and the doctor felt it was best for me to get a bit of rest and that is why I went away. That will do me good in the coming weeks.”
Rooney’s absence has seen teenager Marcus Rashford grab the headlines at Old Trafford with four goals in his first two appearances against Midtjylland and Arsenal.
And the club captain has praised United’s youngsters for their efforts in the first team in a season during which the senior squad has been blighted by injuries.
“I have tried to be involved and I have spoken to the players a lot,” Rooney said.
“I know it is not the same as being out there on the pitch and being involved on matchday and having an influence but I have tried to help out.
“The youngsters have done great. With young players you never know, but hopefully they will have a bright future at this club.”
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