• Premier League

Rooney, RVP out of Chelsea clash

ESPN staff
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Rooney may return for League Cup action next week © PA Photos
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David Moyes has confirmed both Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie are out of Manchester United's trip to Chelsea on Sunday.

England striker Rooney, who has missed United's last three games with a groin injury, has returned to training after a warm-weather break in Egypt but is not fit enough to face the club who tried to sign him last summer.

There had been hope in some quarters that the 28-year-old would be available for selection but it appears the match comes too soon for him to feature - a blow for David Moyes, whose team have lost three of their four games in 2014.

Moyes said: "Wayne's come back, he's fresh but he's not ready for Chelsea.

"He's training, he's on the grass, doing some running and looking quite good. He's had a break, done a lot of strengthening work around his groin and hopefully enjoyed a few days in the sunshine as well. Hopefully he'll benefit from it, but not for this game."

United face Sunderland in the second leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final on Wednesday but Moyes is unsure yet whether Rooney will be available for selection.

"I don't want to put a date on it just now as I don't want to say he'll be fit for whatever game and then I find he's not, but we've just got to take it bit by bit. I've watched him running; he looks well and is in really good condition," Moyes said.

"He's kept himself right and has worked with one of our fitness coaches, who travelled with him. Overall, we're pleased and just hope we can get him back as quickly as we can. He's an important player."

Van Persie, who has scored 10 times this season, has missed United's last nine games with a thigh problem but, though the Dutch international may be back in training next week, Moyes is unwilling to put a definitive date on his comeback.

"I'm hoping Robin has a good chance of training at the start of next week, so if I can get him back out on the grass and back with us, it'll be a great boost for us all," Moyes said.

"He's a really important player and a player we've missed. But he's getting closer now and most of them are getting closer to fitness, so let's hope it's not too long until we get them back."

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