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Rooney may not be fit to face Manchester City

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According to the papers, Manchester United's captain may not return for the derby.

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Laurence Griffiths

Wayne Rooney, club captain and all round inspiration, has missed Manchester United's last three games after being suspended for punting Stewart Downing squarely in the balls. But last Sunday's draw against Chelsea was the final match of his ban, and he should in theory be back to lead from the front this weekend against Manchester City.

In theory. In practice, His Excellency is a Manchester United player, and so he may be injured. At least, that's what the Telegraph are saying. Apparently he is "battling" to be fit after "limping away from training" on Monday; he was seen "in visible discomfort" at a sponsorship event on Monday afternoon.

The Guardian agree, albeit in more optimistic fashion. They have Our Glorious Leader "hopeful of being fit", and claim that Louis van Gaal is "currently preparing for the trip to Manchester City with Rooney in mind." If he doesn't make it, that would presumably mean a reprieve for Juan Mata, whose been relatively underwhelming in the absence of Kingly Wayne.

But wait! There is one further wrinkle. On Monday evening, mere minutes after the Telegraph story first went up, the club's official Twitter account tweeted this:

Which seems an odd thing to be saying about a player that went a-limping and a-cursing off the training field just a few hours before. Curiouser and curiouser. Tune in this weekend to find out!