Rooney took part in light training at Carrington on Tuesday morning before the rest of the Manchester United squad flew out to France for St. Etienne but Mourinho revealed the 31-year-old didn’t take part in full training.
Tuesday was the first time Rooney had trained in the last couple of weeks and when asked if he would be fit for Southampton, Mourinho cast serious doubt on it.
“I don’t know,” Mourinho said on Rooney’s chances to play on Sunday.
“This morning was the first time he trained and didn’t even train 100 per cent with the group. You saw 15 mins open to the press and yes, he was doing the warming up and the basic things after warming up but then when the training session was higher in intensity he was not training. No chance for tomorrow, he is not here, he stayed back training, and let’s see for the weekend.”
It really sounds like there is no chance Rooney will be fit. Even if he does train properly in the next four days, he won’t be anywhere near match sharp and having watched Rooney for over a decade at United, we’re all acutely aware it will take him a few games to get back up to fitness and sharpness. He’s never been a player who can come straight back in after a period of not playing and get straight back in form.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic‘s brilliant form in front of goal, Anthony Martial‘s return to form, Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s growing influence and Marcus Rashford‘s growing confidence means United do have ample options without Rooney and although he is our captain, Mourinho will more than likely be satisfied with the options he’s got.
Rooney has faded into the background since becoming United’s top goalscorer ever thanks to this injury and it doesn’t look like he’ll take part in Sunday’s showpiece fixture where Mourinho could secure his first piece of silverware as United boss.