Rooney has been out of action since injuring himself in the 2-1 loss away to Sunderland and is keen to get back into action in order to make himself fit and available for England’s Euro 2016 campaign this summer.
Van Gaal says Rooney is doing great in his recovery but needs to play with the U21s in order to build up his match fitness ahead of his full return.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, van Gaal said: “He’s doing great. He trained today at a lower level with the ball and will probably play an Under-21s match before he comes back.”
In all honesty I think our attack has not particularly missed Rooney up front but something we’ve desperately lacked is leaders. While not a natural leader, Rooney, 30, is one of our most experienced players and there have been a few occasions where we could really have done with him in the mean.
United’s U21s face Chelsea at Old Trafford on Monday and I expect to see Rooney play then. Past that, United’s game away to Tottenham Hotspur on April 10 might be when we see him back in action.