United dogged by injuries
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson could be without eight senior players for tomorrow's UEFA Champions League encounter with Basel at Old Trafford. Wayne Rooney is expected to miss out with the hamstring injury that sidelined him for Saturday's draw with Stoke and he was among a long list of players who did not train at United's Carrington HQ this morning.
Also absent was Rooney's strike partner Javier Hernandez, who limped off early in the Stoke game with a dead leg. If Hernandez does not recover in time to face the Swiss outfit, Ferguson will be choosing between Michael Owen, Dimitar Berbatov and fit-again Danny Welbeck in his attack.
The United manager would not be drawn on whether Berbatov will start but insists his players are used to being rotated. The Bulgarian was left out of the squad for last season's Champions League final and has started just two games this season.
But Ferguson said: "They understand that having the squad gives them a better chance of winning things. They accepted the squad system a long time ago and want to do well when they get the opportunity because as a group they all want to do well, so I don't have any issues with that at all."
"Of course Dimitar still has a big part to play. He's one of our squad members and they all have a part to play. With the Premier League, the Champions League, the Carling Cup, the FA Cup -- it's an exhausting season unless you use your squad.
"I don't need to reassure him, he knows he's a part of the squad. It applies to other people in the squad -- Macheda, Diouf, Owen. We've had six games, one game at Benfica, one game at Leeds, it's only early doors. There's still plenty of time."
But the problems do not end up front for United. Central defenders Jonny Evans (ankle), Chris Smalling (groin) and Nemanja Vidic (calf) also did not train. That is almost certain to mean Rio Ferdinand lining up alongside youngster Phil Jones tomorrow evening, with Antonio Valencia again pressed into service as an emergency right-back as Rafael (shoulder) is out with a long-term problem.
Fellow long-term casualties Tom Cleverley (foot) and Darron Gibson (ankle) have long since been ruled out. United drew their opening match with Benfica in Lisbon a fortnight ago, while Basel are group leaders after defeating Romanian side Otelul Galati in their first game.