Manchester United skipper Wayne Rooney is set to miss the game against Premier League strugglers Sunderland on Sunday.
The Red Devils are hoping to continue their dream of finishing in the top four this season.
Rooney has struggled this seasonand he is set to miss more games due to ankle problems. The 31-year old could prove helpful when he returns for the end of the season scramble. United played Ronald Koeman’s Everton side without the star player as the issues with his ankle persisted. Rooney’s boyhood club forced their hosts to a 1-1 draw.
Manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Rooney might miss the match as the club’s all-time highest goal scorer battles fitness ahead of the trip to Sunderland.
“Two ankles, so I don’t know. But I don’t think it is easy to recover in a couple of days,” Mourinho said.
United would welcome the return of right back Antonio Valencia. The Ecuador international was decent in the role and the team missed his absence. He was rested for the game against Everton but he is set to make a return this weekend.
Others set to miss the game are Phil Jones, Juan Mata and Chris Smalling. The coach confirmed that the trio would be sidelined for a “long time” – another blow to United’s hopes this term. The Europa League remains the major lifeline for the club to make the UEFA Champions League next year – a major target for the manager after several misses.