By 08:59 Fri, 18 Sep 2015 Comments

The England international missed their last two

matches through injury but has given Louis van

Gaal a boost by recovering in time for their

upcoming visit to St Mary's

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has

declared striker Wayne Rooney to be fit to face

Southampton on Sunday.

The 29-year-old became England's all-time record

goalscorer during the international break earlier in

September, but returned to Old Trafford with a

hamstring injury. The striker missed their 3-1 win

over Liverpool last Saturday and subsequent 2-1

defeat to PSV in the Champions League three days


However, Van Gaal has revealed that Rooney and

Phil Jones are being welcomed back to the first

team, which is respite to the double leg break

inflicted on Luke Shaw in United's loss to the

reigning Dutch champions on Tuesday.

"Shaw's injury is a big loss but Rooney is fit to play

versus Southampton and Jones has trained with the

group," the coach told reporters on Friday.

"Rooney's was a minor injury you don't want to

take any risks. Now he has had his treatment, I

think he can start."

Van Gaal also discussed Shaw's injury - which is

set to sideline him for the rest of 2015-16 - and

suggested that the former Saints defender is

tackling his lengthy road to recovery in good spirits.

"I called him last night," the former Bayern Munich

and Barcelona boss added. "He sounds very strong,

which is amazing to me. It's a big surprise but a

good thing.

"Maybe he shall come back [from hospital]

tomorrow, then it's a long period of rehabilitation.

There's still a long way to go. I am always saying

that it is not physical but also mental."

Shaw has been a constant figure in United's back

four this season alongside Daley Blind, Chris

Smalling and Matteo Darmian, and Van Gaal is

confident that he can find a replacement for the

England international in either Marcos Rojo or

Ashley Young.

"Memphis Depay and Shaw were a very good

combination, and now you have to build up a new

combination," he continued. "You have to start again

and that is difficult.

"It’s also difficult for the player who has to replace

him. But we have good replacements in Blind, Rojo

and Ashley Young."



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