Rooney is expecting the club captain to make a significant difference to United's uncertain defending over the coming weeks and months.
"It was good to see him get 90 minutes at Swansea," said Rooney.
"He has been out for a while and he has been working hard in the gym and at the training ground. He has done well to come back and he will be a massive player for us between now and the end of the season. He is a great defender and great to have in the team and a great leader.
"We have a few players in the team who can lead from the back or the front and he is our captain and does that."