Jose Mourinho Remains Undecided if Wayne Rooney Will Start Against Zorya Luhansk After Back Trouble

Published on: 28 September 2016

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho remains unsure if Wayne Rooney will start Thursday night's Europa League game against Zorya Luhansk after the club captain suffered a back problem earlier in the week which forced him out of training.

Rooney was only named as a substitute for the Premier League win over Leicester at the weekend after weeks of criticism and scrutiny, but he was tipped to return for the visit of the Ukrainians.

Hard at work at the Aon Training Complex... #MUFC

The 30-year-old will definitely be in the matchday squad, but Mourinho has concerns about the negative impact Rooney's fitness could have at a time when the player cannot afford to not play well given the spotlight on him.

"Wayne Rooney is selected. I haven't decided yet if I start with him," the United boss said as he addressed the media on Wednesday afternoon (

"He didn't train [Tuesday], he did just a little bit of the session on Monday. He had a back problem, so today was the first time that he had a training session with the other players and today is the training session where the intensity and the complexity is obviously reduced because we have a game tomorrow," Mourinho explained.

Jose Mourinho recognises the importance of tomorrow's #UEL game... #MUFC

"I was completely convinced of playing him tomorrow from the beginning, but with this situation in the last couple of days I am not sure I'll do that. Because with the situation that you create for him I think he really can't afford to have a performance that is not really good.

"I am here to protect him and not to put him in difficult situations. I have to analyse if the best thing for him is to start the game and if he is not totally ready for it. So I am going to discuss that with him and the medical staff and decide if he starts or if he is on the bench."

To continue the discussion on Twitter follow @jamiespencer155