New Delhi: After completing his three-match suspension, Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney is now battling an injury to be fit for Sunday's Manchester derby. The striker limped off with a foot injury in training on Monday.
The 29-year-old watched from the director's box at Old Trafford as his side mounted a last minute rescue act against Chelsea to salvage a point. He was however, expected to go straight into the starting eleven against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
Radamel Falcao is still undergoing medical treatment for a thigh injury he suffered, which even led to him missing Chelsea's visit to Old Trafford. Hence if Rooney fails to get fit in time for the City game, the Red Devils would once again have to rely heavily on Robin van Persie, who has been misfiring this season.
However, Louis van Gaal feels Falcao's injury is not too bad and that the striker has a good chance of being part of the United squad that will travel to the Etihad. But the Dutchman would be hoping his captain will make it to the team in time for the big game.
The red half of Manchester is sweating over the fitness of the England international. The reason for that lies in the numbers. Wayne Rooney holds the record for most goals scored in Manchester derbies, with 11 in 22 games for United against City. During United's last four visits to the Etihad Stadium, Rooney has beaten the City keeper on five occasions.
Fans in both halves of Manchester will remember Rooney's famous "overhead kick" that is ranked among world and premier league football's greatest goals. Hence there will be contrasting reactions to the news of his injury on either side.
The red half will be hoping their talisman will lead their side out on Sunday, while the blue half would want their tormentor to spend more time on the treatment table.