After missing the entire pre-season campaign due to hamstring and shoulder injuries, Rooney was introduced as a substitute 30 minutes from the end of Saturday's 4-1 win at Swansea.
Though obviously some way short of match fitness still, the 27-year-old still had a significant impact, setting up goals for Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck as David Moyes' reign as United manager got off to a perfect start.
Doubt remains over his future, though.
Having had two bids turned down for Rooney already, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho seems intent on having a third attempt to prize the England forward away from Old Trafford.
And it was noticeable at the Liberty Stadium that Rooney did not celebrate United's goals with his team-mates, although on the latter occasion at least, that had something to do with the kick on his Achilles he sustained as he set up Welbeck's impudent chip.
It appears there are no problems in the camp though, with Carrick backing a stance taken by the United supporters, who cheered Rooney on his arrival.
"Wayne is a great player," said Carrick. "He is one of the lads. He is one of us and we all stick together.
"I didn't hear the fans but he has given this club an awful lot. The fans support him and so do we.
"He came on and looked good. He set up two goals. That is what he is all about.