Rooney still absent, but will be ready for World Cup

Wayne Rooney: Groin problem. Picture: PA
Wayne Rooney: Groin problem. Picture: PA
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Wayne Rooney will miss Manchester United’s final home game of the season as he is still struggling to overcome a groin injury.

Rooney sat out the 1-0 defeat by Sunderland last weekend due to a combination of the injury and a stomach bug.

Interim player-manager Ryan Giggs revealed on the eve of United’s home game against Hull that the 28-year-old has still not recovered from the injury.

“Wayne is probably struggling for the game. He’s not quite recovered. We’ll continue to monitor him,” said Giggs.

Sources close to Rooney insisted last week that the groin complaint would not affect the striker’s chances of being fit for the World Cup, but just a week ahead of his squad announcement, England manager Roy Hodgson will be anxious that his star striker is missing matches.

Rooney’s absence for the Hull game means the door is open for Robin van Persie to make his first start in seven weeks as he has now fully recovered from a knee injury.

It will be the final home match of Giggs’ temporary reign, with Holland coach Louis van Gaal expected to be appointed as David Moyes’ successor in the coming days.

Van Gaal has been urged to include Giggs and his coaches Phil Neville, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes among his staff by former skipper Bryan Robson.

“I think it would be very disappointing for those lads not to be kept on, as they are part of Manchester United,” Robson said. “The fans would be very disappointed if they don’t have a future in the club.

“I have read that Van Gaal wants to bring in a goalkeeper coach, a fitness coach, and (Patrick) Kluivert as his assistant.

“If you are talking about bringing all these people in you have to make sure that you are making the right decision and you are not allowing them too much rope. It is up to the board to step in and say, ‘You can have leeway with this, but there are definitely restrictions on this part of the club’.

“That has to come from the club rather than the new coach. Sometimes I think when you go into a new club, why not give the staff a chance?”

United have always maintained the fact that Van Gaal will not be able to take over fully until after the World Cup is not a problem. Holland’s World Cup preparations begin on Wednesday when the Eredivisie-based players in Van Gaal’s squad meet for their first training camp