Rooney targets Manchester United return within a month

The 26-year-old striker believes he will return to action before September is out, with a League Cup tie against Newcastle or a Premier League clash versus Tottenham likelihoods

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is hoping to return to match action by the end of September.

The England international suffered a nasty-looking gash on his thigh during the 3-2 win over Fulham over two weeks ago.

The 26-year-old was initially ruled out for around a month, with some suggesting that the striker could be out for twice that time, however Rooney is positive about his recovery progress – but is cautious of rushing back before time.

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“The injury is going well,” Rooney told the Manchester Evening News. “It could have been a lot worse than what it was. It is up to the doctor. When he declares me fit I will be ready.

"It feels good at the minute. The timescale put on it was four weeks. If that is the time they feel I need for the wound to heal properly then that is what I will do.

"What I don't want to happen is to come back too early when it is not quite healed and it opens up again first game. That would just set me back again another four weeks.'

"Overall, I think at the most I will miss four games.”

And Rooney has claimed that the gash on his leg from Hugo Rodallega’s challenge didn’t hurt at the time and did not want to be carried off the pitch on a stretcher as it could have upset his son, who was watching in the crowd.

“It didn't hurt me at all. I got up ready to play on," Rooney added. "I was holding my leg up to the referee to say I needed a physio or doctor on. I just didn't want to go off on the stretcher.

"I said to the doctor I can walk off. But he told me it was too dangerous, so he told me to get on it!

"My lad was in the crowd and I didn't really want him seeing me carried off on a stretcher.”

The projected lay-off could see Rooney return as earlier at the League Cup game against Newcastle on September 26, with the Premier League tie against Tottenham the following Saturday a more realistic option.