Sir Alex: Rooney will be back in four weeks

The striker was on the suffered a deep gash on his thigh during their win over Fulham last week but the boss believes that he could return within a month's time

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed Wayne Rooney will return to action in four weeks.

The former Everton star suffered a deep gash to his thigh after coming on as a substitute in their 3-2 win against Fulham at Old Trafford.

Early signs suggested that Rooney could be out for some time, but Sir Alex has now confirmed the 26-year-old will return to action sooner than first feared.

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"Wayne's out for four weeks," Sir Alex revealed to reporters.

"It's nothing serious on the actual gash - it's a bad one but it was treated carefully very quickly. We don't expect any complications from it. I think he'll be back in four weeks.

"The fact it's a gash and not a muscle or joint injury means he can do a lot of work in the gymnasium. We're not too bad with that."

As well as missing England's qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine, Rooney will miss crunch games against Tottenham and Liverpool next month, while also looking doubtful for the Red Devils' Champions League opener against Galatasaray.