Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed he is expecting Wayne Rooney, Nani and Ashley Young to be fit for Manchester United's crucial clash against Chelsea on Sunday, while long-term absentee Tom Cleverly will also travel with the squad.
United have been struck by a severe injury crisis that has robbed them of numerous key players for much of the season thus far, with captain Nemanja Vidic out for the remainder of the campaign alongside Darren Fletcher, while the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Anderson, Phil Jones and Cleverly have all spent prolonged spells on the sidelines so far.
Despite their injury woes United have maintained their title challenge, and currently sit level on points with league leaders Manchester City thanks to a comfortable 2-0 win over Stoke on Tuesday as Roberto Mancini’s men were succumbing to a 1-0 defeat against Everton.
Tom Cleverly – who hasn’t played since September – will also travel with the squad, the Scot confirmed.
"We're a bit better in terms of injuries," he told reporters. "We hope Wayne Rooney, Nani, Tom Cleverley and Ashley Young will all be in the squad. It's more likely Tom will play against Chelsea Reserves on Monday, but he'll travel. Rooney and Nani have trained for the last two days."
While the return of Rooney and Nani will provide a timely boost for the reigning Premier League champions ahead of their trip to Stamford Bridge, they still face problems in goal with Anders Lindegaard out for at least four weeks with an ankle ligament injury.
"It looks like Lindegaard will be out for at least four weeks, maybe five to six, with ankle ligament damage," Ferguson commented. "We don't know what his recovery from injuries is like, so we'll have to wait and see, but I would have thought at least four weeks."
Ben Amos, who started in goal on Tuesday, is expected to relinquish the gloves to David De Gea, who has overcome a sickness bug.