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Wayne Rooney hoping for derby return

Manchester United are waiting to discover whether Wayne Rooney will be back for the Manchester derby.

The England international is out with a severely gashed forehead, suffered when he was caught by team-mate Phil Jones’ boot in training, and is likely to miss Saturday’s Premier League game against Crystal Palace.

However, manager David Moyes said after the 1-0 defeat to Liverpool that he expected the striker to be out for three weeks and the trip to Manchester City falls exactly 21 days after the game at Anfield.

Rooney will reportedly return to training at the end of this week with the intention of facing City, if his wound has healed enough to allow him to head the ball.

• Payne: United's international centurions

The 27-year-old posted a picture of himself on his Facebook page, showing how deep the cut was, after being criticised for missing England’s World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine.

He said then: “Some people seem to be questioning my commitment and the fact I had to pull out of the two games. I’m sure people will see the reason why I won’t be able to play. There’s nothing I would like more than to be helping the lads in the qualifiers.”

United will also find out whether either of their two premier right-backs will be available to take on newly promoted Palace.

Rafael da Silva has been out since the Community Shield win over Wigan with a hamstring injury but is likely to return to training this week, while Jones suffered an ankle problem in the loss to Liverpool.

If both are out, Moyes faces a decision whether to pick Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling or Fabio da Silva.


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