Wayne Rooney will miss Manchester United's Europa League last 32 second leg against Ajax at Old Trafford with a sore throat, the club have confirmed.

United have a two-goal lead going into the return leg, following Ashley Young and Javier Hernandez's first leg goals.

But Rooney will be absent from United's side for the visit of the Eredivisie champions, but could make a recovery in time for the Premier League trip to Norwich City on Sunday.

"Rooney's out for tomorrow," said Ferguson. "He has a bad throat. There were traces of it in Amsterdam last Thursday and he's been in bed for a lot of the weekend."

After making his first start for four months following an ankle problem, Tom Cleverley is expected to take another step towards full fitness, with a full 90 minutes on Thursday.

"Hopefully Tom will play a full game tomorrow," added Ferguson.

"He's back and it's good to have him back. He gives us more ammunition in the midfield area, which was an area some people were worried about. Anderson's back training with the first-team now as well."

The Premier League champions will be confident of progressing following their comfortable win in the Amsterdam Arena last week, and make amends for their failings in the Champions League.

Having lost their lead against Basel in their group stage match at Old Trafford, they eventually had to settle for a draw that heavily affected their chances of reaching the knockout phase. Ferguson doesn't want a repeat performance.

"The experience we had against Basel, where we were 2-0 up at half-time, that's in our memories," added the Scot.

"I don't think we'll be casual or careless about what we're trying to achieve tomorrow but it's a good lead. You can't dispute that."

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