Rooney has resumed football training over the past week, following extensive work in the gymnasium, and is understood to have an outside chance of being involved against Alan Pardew’s team at Old Trafford.
The 26 year-old suffered a wound that cut as deep as the right thigh bone
following a freak collision with the boot of Fulham forward Hugo Rodallega
But initial fears that the England striker would be out for up to two months were allayed following scans which ruled out damage to Rooney’s thigh muscle.
With Sir Alex Ferguson set to rotate his squad against Newcastle, the game has
emerged as a potential comeback date for Rooney, but the United manager
could yet decide to keep the player back until Saturday’s encounter with
Ferguson has confirmed, however, that Scotland midfielder Darren Fletcher will continue his comeback on Wednesday night after making his first appearance in 10 months as a substitute against Galatasaray last Wednesday.
Fletcher has been battling the bowel condition ulcerative colitis but the 28 year-old has made impressive strides in recent weeks.
“Darren will certainly play against Newcastle and that is the perfect game for him to start back,” Ferguson said. “Then we have the game against Tottenham and he could be involved in that. It depends on how he does on Wednesday.
“It will be his first 90 minutes since 10 months out, so it’s a big one for him. He is handling the condition at the moment and, as we saw the other night, he is looking fine.
“It is a matter of hoping the condition stays dormant and he is handling his diet well. Hopefully he gets that break.”
United captain Nemanja Vidic, meanwhile, could miss Saturday’s clash with Tottenham after complaining of stiffness in his right knee prior to Sunday’s victory at Anfield. Vidic underwent cruciate ligament surgery on the joint last December.
“He was just feeling a bit tight around about his knee and we decided just to give him a break [at Liverpool],” Ferguson said. “Hopefully he’ll be all right next week.”
United defender Patrice Evra has insisted he is prepared to fight to keep his place at Old Trafford following the recent arrival of Dutch full-back Alexander Buttner.
The signing of Buttner from Vitesse Arnhem, combined with Evra’s inconsistent form last season, has led to suggestions that the France international faces an uncertain future at United, but Evra claims he has no concerns.
“I am not the kind of guy who reads the papers or goes on to the internet, so when I am not playing, I just stay with my family, so I wasn’t aware of personal criticism.” Evra said.
“When you play a bad game, people criticise you too quickly, but my target is simple: football is like a pyramid and I want to stay on the top.
“It is easy to reach the top of the pyramid, but to stay there is the hardest part. I always try to stay on the top. I tried last year, I will next year and the year after that.
“It is six years I have been here and I want to be the best. That is my target every year. I am not being arrogant, but I am my biggest challenge.
“People forget very quickly how I got to become Man United’s left-back. There was Gabriel Heinze and Mikaël Silvestre.
“When I hear people say Patrice never had someone to fight him for his place I just answer they have to remember I have fought with two great left-backs.
“I will keep doing that. It is too easy for people to say that now we have bought another left-back, ‘Oh yes Patrice Evra will have to fight for his place now’. Patrice Evra has always fought for his place.”