Rooney heads State side for rehab


MANCHESTER, November 5- Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney will be sent to the United States for a week's conditioning work in a bid to speed his return from an ankle injury.Rooney has been sidelined for several weeks and United manager Sir Alex Ferguson doesn’t expect the England star to be back in action before the end of November.

But rather than use United’s facilities at their Carrington training base, Ferguson has decided to arrange for Rooney to go to the sportswear company Nike’s centre in Portland, Oregon.

Rooney has also been dogged by lurid headlines about his private life following reports that he paid prostitutes for sex while his wife was pregnant with their first child.

And the move to send Rooney to Nike Town is also partly aimed at allowing him time out of the media spotlight.

Rooney will travel on Saturday before returning a week later, meaning he will miss the local derby against Manchester City at Eastlands on November 10.

"What we are intending to do with Wayne is send him to Nike Town in the USA for a week’s conditioning training," United assistant-manager Mike Phelan revealed on Friday.

"We have decided, with Wayne, the medical team and the coaching staff that it would be the best thing for him. He is going on Saturday and will return the following Saturday.

"It is a week’s intensive conditioning, under the supervision of our medical team and our sports’ science department."

Phelan, who raised the possibility that Rooney could be back for the home encounter with Wigan on November 21, added: "We have the facilities. We just thought it might be in the interests of him and the club to have a change of scenery for a little while.

"He has had a lot of attention lately and we want to give him the best opportunity that he possibly can to be in good shape when he returns.

"He needs the conditioning. We all agree with that. He can go there without the attention he would get around here.

"If that goes according to plan, he will be available when he returns."

Meanwhile, Phelan revealed that Ferguson had been struck down by the same virus which prevented four members of his squad travelling to Turkey for the Champions League win over Bursaspor and keeps Darron Gibson out of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Wolves.

"The manager has been ill since coming back from Turkey," Phelan said.

"He came down with a virus yesterday. He felt a little bit like that on the flight coming back.

"Yesterday he felt worse, so we have kept him away from the club for a little while.

"It is related to the virus that has been going around. It is one of those things that gets hold of you and is hard to shake off but he will be at the game tomorrow (Saturday)."

Portugal midfielder Nani limped out of Tuesday’s win with a groin injury amid fears he could be sidelined for some considerable time.

He will miss the Wolves game but reported an easing of the discomfort on Thursday and is undergoing treatment in the hope will have him ready to face City.

"There is a possibility he could play against Manchester City," Phelan said.

"Having reported in yesterday with the injury from Tuesday, he felt a lot better than we expected, so we are going to progress him as quickly as we can with a view to next week."