The pair have both been suffering from groin injuries, Rooney having aggravated the problem in training last week on top of the ankle injury he picked up during the second leg of the Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich, whilst Ferdinand suffered his at Blackburn earlier this month and has since missed two Premier League games.
With victory at the Stadium of Light potentially decisive in the Premier League title race, Sir Alex Ferguson is anxious to have the pair available.
And both will train this morning ahead of a likely return against Steve Bruce’s men, who have only lost twice on home soil this season.
“We expect Wayne to join us in training and possibly Rio Ferdinand as well,” said Ferguson.
“We will see how they do but we have a couple of days.
“Wayne missed last week’s game against Tottenham to allow the ankle to settle.
“We don’t have any issues with that now. Hopefully he is okay.”
Ferguson does not have any long-term worries for either player, with Rooney’s presence potentially offering a number of different attacking opportunities on Wearside.
The manager added: “Groin injuries can be a problem at this time of year when the grounds start to get firm but hopefully if he comes through today it gives us something to think about on Sunday.”
United (from): Van der Sar, Kuszczak, Foster, Neville, O’Shea, Rafael, De Laet, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evans, Evra, Carrick, Hargreaves, Scholes, Fletcher, Park, Gibson, Obertan, Valencia, Giggs, Nani, Berbatov, Rooney, Macheda, Diouf.