Fergie denies rushing Rooney's return


MANCHESTER, April 8 – Sir Alex Ferguson insisted Thursday he did not put any pressure on Manchester United doctors to declare Wayne Rooney fit for their Champions League loss to Bayern Munich.

Ferguson had claimed Tuesday that Rooney had no chance of playing after suffering ankle ligament damage in the first leg last week, but less than 24 hours later had named the England star in the second leg tie in Old Trafford.

Ferguson said the decision had only been taken following consultation with his medical team and Rooney, who all agreed the risk to the ankle he damaged in Munich a week previously was minimal.

As it turned out, Rooney went over on the same ankle in the first half and was clearly struggling before Ferguson substituted him with over half an hour remaining following the dismissal of Rafael.

"I never force the medical staff into anything," said Ferguson.

"Their job is difficult. It is important they make the right decisions about players’ fitness. They made the right decision. The medical staff did not see any problem."

That assessment should at least ease the concerns of England manager Fabio Capello, who was at Old Trafford, with Ferguson adamant the correct procedures had been followed.

"Wayne was keen to have a go and it did have an impact on the crowd," said the United boss. It gave them all a lift."

Ferguson is confident the 24-year-old will be fit for the Manchester derby at Eastlands on April 17, although he is unlikely to make Sunday’s trip to Blackburn.