Rooney could play tomorrow

LONDON - Wayne Rooney could make a surprise return to the Manchester United team to face Bayern Munich in the Champions League tomorrow, British media reported yesterday.

LONDON - Wayne Rooney could make a surprise return to the Manchester United team to face Bayern Munich in the Champions League tomorrow, British media reported yesterday.

The talismanic England striker suffered ankle ligament damage in last Tuesday's first leg in Munich, which Bayern won 2-1.

But according to sources close to the club, Rooney has made a much quicker recovery than expected and has the chance of playing despite manager Alex Ferguson ruling him out for "two to three weeks" last Friday.

United expect Rooney back for the derby game against Manchester City on April 17, but Ferguson could have him back sooner.

"Rooney hope of shock return against Bayern", read a headline in the Daily Telegraph, while the Daily Mail said "United test Wayne for Bayern comeback".

Last week the nation held its breath with Rooney sustaining the injury so close to the World Cup, but although he left Munich on crutches, he has made rapid progress.

The England striker has been in top form this season, netting 34 times. Fabio Capello's side is counting on him for the World Cup finals.

The 24-year-old had scored United's goal in the second minute against Bayern but was left writhing on the pitch in stoppage time, seconds before Ivica Olic scored Bayern's winner. - Reuters

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