Welbeck in derby contention after return to full training

The striker has been sidelined with fluid on his knee, but took part in a full-contact session on Friday making him available for selection for the Manchester derby on Sunday
By Paul Clennam

Danny Welbeck has given David Moyes a boost after returning from injury and could feature for Manchester United in the derby at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Welbeck completed his first full contact training session on Friday after failing to make David Moyes’ squad for the club’s last two fixtures with fluid on his knee.

Prior to his return, Welbeck had been consigned to light jogging and non-contact ball work but was deemed fit enough to engage in a full-on session at Carrington, boosting his chances of featuring against Manuel Pellegrini’s team.

Though the 22-year-old could be selected in the matchday squad, there are doubts that he will make the starting XI against City given the current form of Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney.

Rooney netted twice in United’s 4-2 defeat of Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday night while his Netherlands strike partner has six goals in six games for the Red Devils so far this season.

Welbeck will also undergo a final training session on Saturday ahead of the Manchester derby and Moyes will consult the club’s medical staff before making a decision.

United also have other injury doubts and are likely to be without Rafael who has not fully recovered from a hamstring problem. Phil Jones is also struggling with an ankle injury which may mean see a third start in a row for Rio Ferdinand - a scenario Moyes hoped to avoid.