Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo feels refreshed after being rested for his side's Champions League victory over CSKA Moscow in midwee. He is delighted to be preparing to face Manchester City after overcoming some "difficult moments" during his recovery from a serious knee injury.
Rojo made his return from the knee problem that kept him out for eight months against Basel in the penultimate round of the Champions League group stage and completed 90 minutes against Watford and Arsenal before being taken out the firing line by Jose Mourinho as the Red Devils secured their passage to last 16 of Europe's premier club competition.
Rojo, who joined United from Sporting Lisbon in the summer of 2014, admits he was glad to be given a rest in midweek as his body attempts to cope with the rigours of regular football. He is still working his way back to optimum fitness after enduring some tough periods during rehabilitation from a knee injury.
"It was good to get the rest [after being omitted from the squad to face CSKA Moscow]. I've played three matches now and had 90 minutes in those games and I actually felt better than I thought I would do physically and I'm getting back into that rhythm now," Rojo told United's in-house broadcast channel MUTV. "I think it was a good decision by the manager to leave me out [against CSKA] because I feel fresh.
"It's great for me to be back on the pitch and feel the love of the fans and the love of the people again. My return has come from the hard work I put in over the summer in Portugal to try to get myself back to peak condition. There were difficult moments and it was tough but, during those times, I relied on my family to help me through and it's great to be back.
"I'm really looking forward to Sunday. It seemed like it was a long way in the distance when I was injured, but now it's here and I'm ready and fit and raring to go."
Rojo's recent return, combined with the availability of defender Phil Jones, will provide United boss Mourinho with a major selection headache as he attempts to mastermind a victory over Manchester City, who tasted defeat against Shakthar Donetsk in midweek.
Victor Lindelof has come into his own in recent weeks after enduring a difficult start to his United career, while Chris Smalling has performed well to establish himself in Mourinho's first-team plans after flirting with a move away in the summer.
Mourinho has utilised a three-man defence in recent weeks and will likely plump for the same formation against Manchester City, but the Portuguese now has a welcome problem over who to incorporate in his backline on Sunday. However, Eric Bailly is still out with a groin problem.