Sir Alex Ferguson says he took the England striker out of the firing line over abuse he would have taken from the Goodison Park crowd over his hooker sex shame.
But a source close to Rooney said the forward was expecting to play until a team meeting on Friday night and revealed to the Mirror: "Fergie told him it was in the best interests of both himself and the team to sit this one out.
"Wayne was shocked and disappointed to be left out. It was the manager's call, 100 per cent.
"Wayne was told to go home and get his head right for the Champions League game against Rangers on Tuesday night.
"It's been a difficult week for Wayne but he still wanted to play. Despite all that's happened he's a footballer and loves to play football."