Wayne Rooney could play for Manchester United at Sunderland tomorrow. The 34-goal striker was thought to be out for the season after he missed the win over Tottenham last week with a groin injury. That was on top of an ankle injury that forced him out of two games, including the home defeat to Chelsea last month. But Rooney, along with Rio Ferdinand who has also been out with a groin injury, trained yesterday morning ahead of a likely return against Steve Bruce's men, who have only lost twice on home soil this season.
"We will see how they do but we have a couple of days," said Sir Alex Ferguson, the United manager. "Wayne missed last week's game against Tottenham to allow the ankle to settle. "We don't have any issues with that now. Hopefully he is okay." Rooney claimed his second major award of a remarkable season yesterday when he was named Footballer of the Year for the first time by the Football Writers Association (FWA) in England. Rooney, who was voted the PFA Player of the Year on Sunday by his fellow players, took 80 per cent of the votes cast by members of the FWA, with Didier Drogba, the Chelsea striker, a distant second.
Meanwhile, Gary Neville, 35, the United right-back, has signed a one-year contract extension with the club. * Agencies