Injured Manchester United skipper Wayne Rooney is expected to return to action after this week’s international break, revealed his teammate Jesse Lingard.
30-year-old Rooney has been sidelined since mid-February due to a knee injury and was reported to be out for at least two months.
However, the veteran striker claimed last week that he hoped his return “shouldn’t be too long” after England’s upcoming friendly fixtures with Germany and Netherlands, on 26th and 29th March, and Lingard now has suggested the United captain could be fit for the Premier League clash with Everton on 3rd April.
“He should be back after the international break,” Lingard told in an interview.
Meanwhile, Rooney had been seen at the Etihad Stadium ahead of Sunday’s match against Manchester City, which had sparked some absurd speculation he was ready for an early comeback in the derby.
But later the Manchester Evening News claimed Rooney had been brought into the away dressing room to give a speech to charge his teammates.
The 1-0 derby win actually has revived hopes for United to enjoy a strong finish to this season and confirm Champions League qualification, with Louis van Gaal’s team now only one point behind fourth-placed Manchester City.
Their chances of a top-four finish could be boosted by the return of several other players after the international break.
Ander Herrera and Ashley Young, who both endured groin problems, are all set to return for the Everton match, along with defenders Phil Jones and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson.
“We have a lot of players coming back,” Lingard further said. “That’s a massive boost for the squad.”
However, Wayne Rooney doesn’t have the security of an automatic starting berth at Euro 2016, even if he regains full fitness after recovering from the knee injury, England boss Roy Hodgson has already made it clear.
England had to suffer before from taking a half fit Rooney to a major tournament and Hodgson insists, he hopes to avoid the “unpleasant situation” of having to decide whether to select him if he has not fully recovered by the squad announcement deadline of 12 May. But even if Rooney recovers, Hodgson said that his 109 caps and 51 goals will not guarantee him a berth in the starting eleven when England play Russia in Marseille in 12 weeks’ time.
Rooney’s leadership quality has always been an important one to England, even when he is injured, and veteran striker will be involved with the English squad next week at St George’s Park. He is not likely to play the friendly in Germany on Easter Saturday but wants to be at Wembley for the visit of the Netherlands the following Tuesday.