Manchester United reached the Europa League semi-finals for the first time after beating Anderlecht 2-1 on Thursday, but at the cost of a potentially serious injury to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Rooney has played just twice in 2 1/2 months due to injury niggles - the latest being an ankle problem - and the fact he has dropped down the pecking order of strikers at United, behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcus Rashford.
Ibrahimovic, 35, joined United on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain and has scored 17 goals in 28 Premier League appearances to answer critics who doubted he could still have such an impact given his age.
And it was an advantage they didn't relinquish to book their place in the last four, and they will find out who they play in the semi-finals when the draw is made later on this morning.
While man-of-the-match and match-winner Rashford earned many plaudits, as did £89 million man Paul Pogba after a sterling display in the midfield...
"It is an important title and we have to keep going".
"OK, you speak about his qualities, his quality is fantastic", Mourinho told reporters at Old Trafford.
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The high-tension cable fell on a crowded shack showing the Europa League quarter-final against Anderlecht in the southern city of Calabar.
"We have Daley Blind, who has experience in the position, and I think it is time for Jones and Smalling to be courageous - to risk", he said. "You can't do miracles but you have to try to do everything to accelerate the process".
"We can not do miracles".
"Even if he's not in the best condition, if he's not in the level of sharpness that you need to play high-level football". But with a special spirit, it can be sooner than expected. "Instead of mid-May, beginning of May".
The scrappy, sapping victory means Mourinho's side remain on course to claim the only major trophy missing from the club's collection. "That is the way we think", Mourinho added.
"I am exhausted. I imagine the players are more exhausted than me".