Wayne Rooney in fitness race for Liverpool clash

Rooney adds to Fergie's injury headache with striker in race to be fit for Liverpool

Wayne Rooney faces a race against time to be fit for Manchester United's FA Cup grudge match with Liverpool on Saturday.

Rooney has not trained all week after picking up knee and ankle knocks in last weekend's win over Arsenal, and will be ruled out of the highly-charged fourth round tie at Anfield if he is still unable to take part in United's pre-match preparations.

Losing their 18-goal goal top scorer would be a huge blow for United who are expected to face an even hotter reception on Merseyside than usual in the wake of the race row between Patrice Evra and Luis Suarez.

Ouch: Rooney picked up knee and ankle knocks last weekend at Arsenal

Ouch: Rooney picked up knee and ankle knocks last weekend at Arsenal

Sir Alex Ferguson could be without 10 senior first-team players for the clash with United's bitter rivals, after Nani and Phil Jones – who both went off with ankle injuries at Arsenal – were ruled out.

There are fears that Nani could be sidelined for more than two weeks, although Jones is expected back ahead of schedule and could be in contention to play against Stoke on Tuesday night.

Rio Ferdinand is also rated doubtful to face Liverpool due to the back spasm that kept him out of the Arsenal game.

With United already without captain Nemanja Vidic, that would leave Ferguson short of defenders once again.

Even if he was tempted to leave out Evra in what is bound to be a hostile atmosphere for the Frenchman, the United boss might have little choice.

Crocked: Winger Nani could be sidelined for more than two weeks

Crocked: Winger Nani could be sidelined for more than two weeks

There was at least some good news for Ferguson with Ashley Young and Tom Cleverley set to play some part in next Sunday's game at Chelsea.

Young last played five weeks ago when he suffered a knee injury at Fulham, and Cleverley has missed much of the season with a foot problem.