Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is set to miss next week’s derby with City and has been sent to America for rehabilitation and conditioning work.
The club had hoped that Rooney would recover from an ankle problem in time to face local rivals Manchester City at Eastlands on Wednesday.
However, the 24-year-old is set to miss the midweek encounter.
Rooney has not played for United since their 2-2 draw with West Brom on 16th October, with his new contract saga dominating the headlines since then.
Rooney is due back in England on 13th November, when it is hoped he will be close to a first-team return.
“What we are intending to do with Wayne is send him to Nike Town in the USA for a week’s conditioning training,” confirmed United assistant manager Mike Phelan.
“We have decided, with Wayne, the medical team and the coaching staff that it would be the best thing for him.
“He is going on Saturday and will return the following Saturday.
“It is a week’s intensive conditioning, under the supervision of our medical team and our sports’ science department.”
Phelan has hinted that he could be welcomed back for the home date with Wigan on 20th November.
“We have the facilities,” he conceded.
“We just thought it might be in the interests of him and the club to have a change of scenery for a little while.
“He has had a lot of attention lately and we want to give him the best opportunity that he possibly can to be in good shape when he returns.
“He needs the conditioning. We all agree with that. He can go there without the attention he would get around here.
“If that goes according to plan, he will be available when he returns.”