Wayne Rooney plays 61 minutes on return for Manchester United with U21 side
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 12/04/16 12:53pm
Wayne Rooney played 61 minutes on his return from injury for Manchester United's U21 side on Monday night against Middlesbrough.
It was the England striker's first run out since February following a knee problem, and he appeared to come through the game unscathed as United won 1-0 at Old Trafford.
Rooney has missed the last 12 games for the club, and could have at least seven league games remaining this season to prove his fitness for Euro 2016.
United currently sit fifth in the Premier League, four points behind fourth-place Manchester City, and have an FA Cup quarter-final replay against West Ham to come on Wednesday.
Speaking at his news conference following the 3-0 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, Louis van Gaal had said: "We have to wait and see if that is the case [that Rooney will soon return for the first team].
"He shall play on Monday. Sixty minutes and we can see how he is doing because he has been, for more than two months, out of the game. That is not nothing.
"Of course, he is a great striker but, still, he has to show that, and if he is already in a certain shape. It's always like that, for every player."
There were 6,000 fans at Old Trafford, as Phil Jones also played 90 minutes as he steps up his return from injury.
Paddy McNair scored the winner for United in the second half, moments after Rooney had been brought off.
Rooney is looking to captain England at the Euros in France, with Russia first up in Marseille on June 12, followed by group games against Wales and Slovakia.