Trio ready for Derby
Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra and Jonny Evans are all in contention for Sunday's FA Cup tie at Derby, but Wayne Rooney is a doubt as the Reds attempt to ease him back from a hamstring strain.
Ferdinand missed England's 2-0 defeat against Spain in midweek through illness, and although he sat out training at Carrington on Thursday, he's expected to be ready for Sunday.
Evra, meanwhile, has recovered from the foot injury sustained in the win over Chelsea on 11 January, while Jonny Evans has shaken off an ankle knock picked up in the Carling Cup semi-final victory over the Rams last month.
“There are a couple of days to go before the game yet, but Jonny Evans and Patrice Evra are training and they’re OK," Reds assistant boss Mike Phelan said on Friday.
“Rio came in on Thursday. He felt a bit better even though he didn’t train, but we hope he’ll get some training today (Friday). He should be OK."
Phelan chaired Friday's press conference as Sir Alex Ferguson attended a family funeral. The boss' right-hand man also confirmed that the club's medical staff are continuing to monitor Wayne Rooney's return from a hamstring injury.
The striker hasn't featured since hobbling out of the 1-0 win over Wigan on 14 January, and Phelan insists he would be eased back into action.
“We’re still assessing Wayne," he said. "He’s done a little bit of work but we’re not going to rush him. We have some big games coming up, so we’ll ease him back in, but do it as quickly as we can.
"If he’s available on Sunday, terrific. If not, we’ll look at it for the next game against Fulham. We have numerous players in the squad that we can use if [he isn’t ready for Sunday]. We’ll assess that on Saturday or Sunday.”
The Reds would, of course, like to have Rooney fit for the forthcoming Champions League tie with Internazionale, but Phelan says “nothing will be done to jeopardise” Rooney’s well-being. “We’ll make a decision when he’s fit and on which game he should play in.
“The game against Inter Milan is a big game and it’s always in your mind. But it’s still a way off. We have three games to play between now and then. We’ll pick out teams accordingly for each of those games."
Hope everyone will be back on time for the Milan Game!