Louis van Gaal’s depleted Manchester United side have been handed a much needed injury boost ahead of Saturday’s home clash against Norwich City.
Wayne Rooney, Chris Smalling and Ander Herrera have all completed a full week of training but it remains unclear whether the trio will return to the starting line-up against the Canaries.
Club captain Rooney has missed the last three games after picking up an ankle injury in the 1-1 draw away at Leicester City while Smalling was absent in the defeat against Bournemouth after hobbling through the latter stages of the defeat to Wolfsburg.
Herrera has also watched the last five games from the stands while recovering from a hamstring problem.
Van Gaal revealed that a decision is yet to be made whether the trio are deemed fit enough to start Saturday’s must win clash: “There are more or less three players who are trained this week, for a full week, so that’s not bad.
“The players who have trained this week are Rooney, Herrera, Smalling and Young is also coming back I think, but we have to wait and see.
Van Gaal continued: “We have to decide if they can play or not because some players like Herrera have already been ‘out of the office’ for three or four weeks.
“Rooney has been out for more or less two weeks so it is possible that he will play but we have to wait and see.”
Rooney could return and make his 500th appearance for the twenty-time champions, Sebastian Schweinsteiger sits out the second of his three match suspension.
Matteo Darmian and Jesse Lingard are both unavailable to face Norwich. Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia are all long-term absentees.
The former Netherlands manager also discussed the progress of Nick Powell, who has returned to the first-team fold following a lengthy injury lay-off to make several cameo appearances.
“He was also injured for a long time so he’s now recovering and coming in the match rhythm, but now because of the many injuries he cuts his chances and you never know [if he will play against Norwich].”
Powell staked his claim for a first team berth after scoring twice on Monday night as Warren Joyce’s Under-21 side crushed Leicester City 6-1.
United have not won in their last five and with the Old Trafford faithful continuing to voice their disapproval over lacklustre displays, Van Gaal is well aware that his side need to respond.
“The only answer is to win this game. It’s still difficult because we are playing in the Premier League, but at home you have to win, and that’s for sure.
“Norwich have had good results against top teams. What I always say, and that’s not any excuse, is that winning in the Premier League is not so easy.”
After a catastrophic last ten days, Van Gaal will be desperate to silent the critics with a comfortable victory against Norwich.