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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

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Rooney has missed seven games since limping out of the home win over Wigan with a hamstring strain.

Sir Alex Ferguson opted to leave him out of the squad for Sunday's FA Cup trip to Derby, a decision that has proved to be a wise one.

It allowed Rooney to get an extra day's training under his belt that should ensure he plays some part against Roy Hodgson's men, even if Carlos Tevez and Dimitar Berbatov are expected to be handed the starting spots in attack.

"The plan is for Wayne Rooney to be involved tomorrow night and he will start on the bench," Ferguson told Key103.

"We have handled him in the right way.

"He is training now. His performances have been excellent and he is back to his best.

"The decision not to involve him on Sunday was a good one because he was able to train and that extra day has brought him on a lot."

Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Michael Carrick are among the other big names who return following the win at Derby, while Edwin van der Sar looks to complete an incredible 14th consecutive Premier League clean sheet.

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson will give late fitness tests to Paul Konchesky and Andy Johnson as both players have been struggling with muscle strains.

Dickson Etuhu is still out with the knee injury he sustained against Wigan, meaning on-loan Internazionale midfielder Olivier Dacourt should continue in midfield.

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