Wayne Rooney is aiming to return for Manchester United after the Easter break at the end of March.
He has been sidelined since the loss to Sunderland with knee ligament damage and has so far missed eight games for Man United.
While he will miss some more important games including our crucial clash with Manchester City at the weekend, Rooney is looking to play plenty of games towards the tail end of the season ahead of Euro 2016.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Rooney said: “Everything is going as planned.
“Rehab is going well but, hopefully, it won’t be too long.
“I don’t know [when I will return]. Obviously, I will miss the international games but, hopefully, it won’t be too long. It’s not too bad but obviously it’s [a case of] just being a bit cautious. It’s difficult to push back. If I tried to push it to be involved now, it could cause more damage. So, being cautious, after the international break is more realistic.
“I am hoping that, if I am back when I am expected to be back, depending on the two cups we are in, then there could be over 10 games left plus the England games.
“I was saying before it has been eight games that I have missed. I didn’t realise it was that many so it’s obviously really frustrating. Myself, the manager and the doctor felt it was best for me to get a bit of rest and that is why I went away. That will do me good in the coming weeks.”
There were reports this week which suggested Rooney had suffered a setback in his injury but returning at the end of March would be pretty much on schedule for the worst estimations at the time he was injured.
Have we missed Rooney? Not as much as would have in previous years but there is no question we’ve got a bad lack of leaders on the pitch at the moment, so not having our captain has definitely hurt us in that respect.
As for what Rooney will be coming back to, there is every chance the season will be effectively over by the time he returns if we lose to West Ham in the FA Cup replay, Liverpool in the Europa League and Manchester City in the Premier League.