February 14, 2009


Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra and Jonny Evans are all in contention for Sunday's FA Cup tie at Derby, but Wayne Rooney remains a doubt with a hamstring strain.

Ferdinand missed England's defeat against Spain in midweek through illness, but is expected to recover for the visit to Pride Park. Evra is now over the foot injury he sustained in the win over Chelsea in January, while Jonny Evans has shaken off an ankle knock picked up in the Carling Cup semi-final win over Derby last month.

“There are a couple of days to go before the game yet, but Jonny and Patrice are training and they’re both OK," said Reds assistant boss Mike Phelan. “Rio was feeling better when he came in on Thursday. He didn’t train, but he should be fine."

Phelan chaired Friday's press conference as Sir Alex Ferguson attended a family funeral. The boss' right-hand man also confirmed that the club's medical staff are continuing to monitor Wayne Rooney's return from a hamstring problem. The striker hasn't featured since hobbling out of the 1-0 win over Wigan on 14 January, and Phelan insists he would be eased back into action.

“We’re still assessing Wayne," he said. "He’s done a little bit of work but we’re not going to rush him. We have some big games coming up, so we’ll ease him back in. We’ll do that as quickly as we can, but we won’t jeopardise his fitness. If he's not ready for Sunday then we'll look at the next game against Fulham."

Video: Watch Mike's press conference from 16:00 Friday on MUTV Online.