By Manchester correspondent Alex Stevens
Wayne Rooney has been passed fit to return for Manchester United and is set to go straight into the team for Sunday’s trip to Southampton.
Rooney missed last Saturday’s 3-1 over Liverpool in the Premier League and the 2-1 Champions League defeat to PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday with a hamstring injury he sustained on international duty with England.
Football Insider understands that manager Louis van Gaal will select the United skipper to start the Premier League clash at St Mary’s Stadium.
Van Gaal used midfielder Marouane Fellaini as an emergency striker against Liverpool before £58 million summer signing Anthony Martial made his full debut in Holland in midweek.
Rooney, the third highest scorer in the club’s history, is available again.
“Wayne is fit to play,” Van Gaal told MUTV on Friday. “He’s only had one week out. It was because we weren’t taking any risks with him. He has had his treatment so I think he can start.”
Rooney is on his longest ever Premier League drought after failing to score in his last 10 games in the competition, although he managed a hat trick last month in the Champions League against Club Brugge.
Martial scored as a substitute on his debut against Liverpool, but the teenager is set to revert back to the bench now that Rooney is able to return to the side.
“I have to judge every week if I can use [Martial] or not,” Van Gaal added in his news conference. “A player of 19 years old is not fully developed. That is the reason I say that. That doesn’t say I don’t count on him in certain places. It is dependable on all the possibilities I have.”
Phil Jones, who is yet to feature this season after suffering from thrombosis, is nearing a return.
“Jones has come back and trained with the group for the first time,” Van Gaal added. “He’s not match fit but he’s fit to train.”
In other Manchester United news, Luke Shaw, who underwent a second operation on Friday to repair his broken leg, is currently United’s only injured player.