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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Wayne Rooney to return after international break - Jesse Lingard

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney is expected to return after the international break, teammate Jesse Lingard has said.

Rooney, 30, has been out since mid-February with a knee injury and was reported to be facing two months on the sidelines.

However, the forward said last week that he hoped his return "shouldn't be too long" after England's upcoming friendlies with Germany and Netherlands, which take place on March 26 and 29, and Lingard suggested he could be fit for the Premier League meeting with Everton on April 3.

"He should be back after the international break," Lingard told reporters.

Wayne Rooney is reported to have delivered a speech in the dressing room at the Etihad Stadium.

Rooney had been pictured at the Etihad Stadium ahead of Sunday's game against Manchester City, which had sparked speculation he was in line for an early comeback in the derby.

The Manchester Evening News reports that Rooney had been brought into the away dressing room to deliver a speech to rally his teammates.

The 1-0 derby victory that followed has revived hopes United can enjoy a strong finish to the season and secure Champions League qualification, with Louis van Gaal's side now just one point behind fourth-placed City.

Their chances of a top-four finish could be boosted by the return of several other members of the squad after the international break. 

Ander Herrera and Ashley Young, who both have groin problems, are in contention to return for the Everton game, along with defenders Phil Jones and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson.

"We have a lot of players coming back," Lingard added. "That's a massive boost for the squad."


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