Rooney fit to feature for Manchester United vs Southampton

The England international missed their last two matches through injury but has given Louis van Gaal a boost by recovering in time for their upcoming visit to St Mary’s

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has declared striker Wayne Rooney to be fit to face Southampton on Sunday.

The 29-year-old became England’s all-time record goalscorer during the international break earlier in September, but returned to Old Trafford with a hamstring injury and missed their 3-1 win over Liverpool last Saturday and their 2-1 defeat to PSV in the Champions League three days later.

However, Van Gaal has revealed that Rooney and Phil Jones are being welcomed back to the first team, which is positive respite to the double leg break injury woe inflicted on Luke Shaw in United’s loss to the reigning Dutch champions on Tuesday.

“Shaw’s injury is a big loss but Rooney is fit to play versus Southampton and Jones has trained with the group,” the coach told reporters on Friday.

“Rooney’s was a minor injury you don’t want to take any risks. Now he has had his treatment, I think he can start.”

Van Gaal also discussed Shaw’s injury – which is set to sideline him for the rest of 2015-16 – and suggested that the former Saints defender is tackling his lengthy road to recovery in good spirits.

“I called him last night,” the former Bayern Munich and Barcelona boss added. “He sounds very strong, which is amazing to me. It’s a big surprise but a good thing.”

“Maybe he shall come back [from hospital] tomorrow, then it’s a long period of rehabilitation. There’s still a long way to go. I am always saying that it is not physical but also mental.”

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