Manchester United injury news: Robin van Persie to miss Aston Villa clash with Chris Smalling doubtful but Luke Shaw returns

Van Persie has not played since 21 February due to an ankle injury

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Louis van Gaal has revealed that Robin van Persie will miss Manchester United's Premier League encounter with Aston Villa on Saturday as he continues to recover from an ankle injury.

The striker has not played since limping out of the 2-1 defeat to Swansea on 21 February, and initial hopes had been for his return to coincide with the end of the international break.

But having sat out the Netherlands' games against Turkey and Spain over the past week, Van Persie will not return at Old Trafford as Villa seek to continue their upturn in form that is edging them clear of relegation.


Van Persie has already missed the impressive wins over Tottenham and Liverpool during his five-match absence, and Van Gaal confirmed at his pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon that the 31-year-old has not recovered in time ti feature this weekend.

"Robin van Persie is still injured," said Van Gaal.

"We have a process. He has to go to the final football coach before he comes into my group and he is not there yet.

"He is still not in my group."

There is also a major doubt over defender Chris Smalling after he was forced off during the first half of England's 1-1 draw in Italy on Tuesday, with Van Gaal revealing that the centre-back is unlikely to feature against Villa.

"Smalling is ill so I don't know if he is available," Van Gaal said.

"(On Thursday) he was at the club, but in the medical department, doing his recovery and so on. (On Friday) I know already that he is not feeling well so it shall be difficult for him."

Shaw has recovered from a hamstring injury

On player who United will have back from injury is left-back Luke Shaw. The 19-year-old pulled out of the England squad before the 4-0 win over Lithuania in their Euro 2016 qualifier on Friday, but Van Gaal revealed that he has recovered sufficiently from his hamstring injury he suffered in the win over Liverpool last time out.

"Luke Shaw is in my group," added Van Gaal.