It was reported yesterday by Sky Sports that Jose Mourinho was set to recall captain Wayne Rooney to the starting line up for Manchester Untied’s Europa League game against Zorya Luhansk on Thursday, with the intention of dropping him once again to the bench for Sunday’s Premier League game against Stoke City.
Further information has been revealed today by Mourinho, who has stated that Rooney could now be missing from action for both games this week due to the occurrence of a back injury. Rooney was unable to train with the rest of the squad on Monday and Tuesday of this week and Mourinho has stated he does not want to chance playing him if he is only half fit.
‘Rooney is selected. He didn’t train on Tuesday,’ stated Mourinho. ‘He did a little bit of a session on Monday. He had a back problem. Wednesday was the first time he had a training session with the other players.’
‘The training session’s intensity and complexity was reduced because we have a game.’
‘I was completely convinced from playing him tomorrow from the beginning with his situation in the last couple of games, but I’m not sure I will do that because of the situation you create to him.’
‘I think he really can’t afford to have a performance that is not really good.’
‘I’m here to protect him and not to put him in different situations. I have to analyse the best thing for him is to start the game.’
‘I’m going to discuss that with him and the medical staff and decide if he starts or is on the bench.’