Wayne Rooney could be rested for Manchester United's trip to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday amid fears that his niggling knee injury is getting worse.
The striker limped away from Old Trafford following Sunday's 2-1 victory over Liverpool and is thought to be suffering from an inflamed tendon.
Rooney was initially informed the knee issue would clear up in one month but the irritation persists. Although the problem does not prevent him from playing for United, it is causing discomfort and swelling after matches.
The 33-goal striker is central to United's hopes of winning silverware this season and with a key clash with Premier League title rivals Chelsea and a Champions League quarter-final against Bayern Munich on the horizon, Rooney may well be spared Saturday's trip to the Reebok Stadium.
The knee problem first arose ahead of the Carling Cup final and Ferguson left the 24-year-old on the bench to give him a rest but had to call on his services after Michael Owen got injured just 30 minutes into the match.
Rooney then played again on the heavy Wembley pitch days later for England and was criticised by United boss Sir Alex Ferguson for staying on for 86 minutes of the friendly against Egypt.
United are unable to give their star player much rest during the title run in and with just 80 days to go before the World Cup starts England coach Fabio Capello will be keeping a close eye on his prized asset.