Fergie rues Rooney injury

Rooney
Rooney will miss the rest of the festive programme after suffering an injury in training. Photo: PA

Sir Alex Ferguson is hoping to have Ashley Young and Phil Jones available for Manchester United's Barclays Premier League encounter with West Brom - but Wayne Rooney will definitely be absent.

Rooney missed United's 4-3 win over Newcastle yesterday after suffering a training ground injury on Christmas Day and Ferguson confirmed the striker will sit out the remainder of the festive programme.

"It was a volley towards the end of training," said Ferguson.

"He did a ligament at the back of his knee and could be out for two to three weeks."

Rooney will miss Premier League matches against West Brom and Wigan, in addition to the FA Cup third round tie at West Ham on January 5.

He also faces a race against time to face Liverpool at Old Trafford on January 13.

For Ferguson it was a particularly disappointing given Rooney's poor performance at Swansea on Sunday.

"After his performance on Sunday I think he would have been brilliant today. You don't have two performances like he did on Sunday," said Ferguson.

"Unfortunately we couldn't risk him."

With Danny Welbeck also missing after being taken ill at the team hotel on Christmas night, Ferguson is thankful the minor, if unspecified, knocks that kept Young and Jones out of yesterday's Old Trafford thriller should prove to be short term.

"Ashley Young also got injured yesterday and Phil Jones got injured against Swansea," said Ferguson.

"They should both be OK for Saturday, and I will also have Tom Cleverley and Darren Fletcher, who are fresh."

In addition, skipper Nemanja Vidic might be available to shore up United's leaky defence.

He was on the bench for the Newcastle victory but Ferguson did not want to use the Serbian, who made his first start since September at Swansea on Sunday.

"We couldn't risk Vida after playing his first game," said Ferguson.

"He had a bit of soreness in his knee, which is only to be expected after being out for so long."