Sir Alex Ferguson has conceded that he prematurely drafted Ruud van Nistelrooy back into action. The Manchester United predator has looked a shadow of his old self since returning from a three-month lay-off against Milan in late February. He played the first leg of that UEFA Champions League tie as a substitute before starting the return at San Siro.
But van Nistelrooy has still to score since making his comeback and Ferguson admits he should have kept the Dutchman waiting a little longer. "We took a chance bringing him back originally when we did after his three months out with the Achilles problem," Ferguson told the Manchester Evening News.
"When you are playing AC Milan and you think of Ruud's goalscoring record in Europe, we had no option really. "But it was too early. He was probably a couple of weeks away from a comeback. "But Ruud will be all right. We need to keep him going now and he'll be fine." Van Nistelrooy could be left out of the side for Saturday's game at Norwich City, live on Prem Plus, although Ferguson acknowledges he should have dropped his leading striker against Blackburn last week. He added: "In fairness to Ruud it wasn't right to play him last week against Blackburn Rovers.
"He had two internationals for Holland and had travelled to Romania before flying back to Holland and then to Manchester. "He didn't get back here until Friday morning. After being out for so long, asking him to play after two internationals was just too much. It was difficult for him against Rovers and I think it affected his performance. Being away from training at Carrington wasn't ideal for him at this stage. "He needed a really good week's training with us and he's had that this week. He has worked really hard. That will help him
should have had a few reserve games first