Rooney missed last weekend's game against Tottenham Hotspur with a groin injury, and he has also been playing through the pain barrier with an ankle problem. But Sir Alex thinks a weekend off has solved the issue.
Rio Ferdinand picked up a groin injury in the the 0-0 draw with Blackburn earlier this month and hasn't played since. But, like Rooney, he's in contention for the trip to the Stadium of Light if he comes through the next two days' training unscathed.
"We expect Wayne to join us in training today," said the boss. "And we hope the same goes for Rio. We will see how they do.
"We've got a couple of days [before Sunday's game]. The fact that Wayne missed last week's game allowed the ankle to settle. We don't have any issues with that now. But groin injuries can be a problem at this time of year when the ground is hard. But hopefully if he comes through training today then it gives us something to think about on Sunday."
Rooney will only play on Sunday, however, if he is fully fit. He will not be risked dependent on the outcome of Chelsea's result against Liverpool at Anfield. "He won't be involved unless he is fit, straightforward," said the boss.