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Injury could rule Wayne Rooney out of Manchester derby

Brazil England Soccer WCup

England national soccer team player Wayne Rooney listens to a journalist’s question during a press conference after a training session for the 2014 soccer World Cup at the Urca military base in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 11, 2014. The England soccer team are staying in Rio de Janeiro as their base city for the 2014 soccer World Cup. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)


According to multiple reports from the UK, Wayne Rooney could be struggling to be fit for Manchester United as they travel to face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday in the derby.

Rooney, 28, hasn’t played for United since Sept. 27 when he was sent off for a lunging tackle against West Ham United and handed a three-game ban.

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The captain of United and England was expected to come straight back into Louis van Gaal’s team for the Manchester derby, but is rumored to have injured his foot during a training session on Monday and according to the Telegraph Rooney was “in visible discomfort as he walked away from a photograph on the pitch with the rest of the first-team squad” during a promotional photo-shoot at Old Trafford.

With striker Radamel Falcao missing for United’s match with Chelsea due to an ongoing thigh problem, van Gaal was hoping to have his main man back and firing on all cylinders for the crosstown clash against the reigning Premier League champions.

Instead it seems as though Rooney is in a race against time to be fit for the massive rivalry. He’s always been a key man in this rivalry. In 2011 he scored a phenomenal bicycle kick to beat City at Old Trafford and is the all-time leading scorer in Manchester derbies with 11 goals in 22 matches. Rooney was United’s lone goalscorer in a 4-1 drubbing at City for the Red Devils last season and has scored on four of his last five visits to the Etihad.

Given all of that, van Gaal will be desperate to get Rooney fit and ready to roll as his suspension is over and United aim to kick on with their captain leading the charge.

Follow @JPW_NBCSports