Ankle problem could sideline Rooney for Sunderland game

LONDON: Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney could miss Sunday's Premier League trip to basement side Sunderland due to an ankle problem, manager Jose Mourinho has said.

Injuries have restricted Rooney, who missed Tuesday's 1-1 draw with his former club Everton at Old Trafford due to ankle pain, to just three appearances in the last two months.

"I don't know but two ankles, I don't think it's easy to recover in a couple of days," Mourinho told British media.

United trio Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Juan Mata have already been ruled out of the Sunderland game after sustaining long-term injuries last month.

Defenders Smalling and Jones were injured on international duty with England last month, while Spanish midfielder Mata has undergone surgery on a groin problem.

However, right back Antonio Valencia is likely to return after being rested for the Everton game.

Back-to-back home draws have seen fifth-placed United lose ground in the race to finish in the top four Champions League slots but they will look to return to winning ways when they travel to the Stadium of Light.