Manchester United have been dealt a huge injury blow for this weekend’s match with Aston Villa after striker Robin Van Persie has been ruled out, according to the Independent.
The Dutchman has yet to fully recover from a long term ankle complaint, though it had been hoped that he would finally be given the all clear once the international break was out of the way.
Van Persie hasn’t featured for the Red Devils since limping out of the side’s 2-1 defeat to Swansea on February 21, and has missed clashes with both Spurs and Liverpool in the process.
“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 are also doubts hanging over defender Chris Smalling, who was forced off before halftime of England’s 1-1 draw with Italy during the week.
“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.”
However, United have received a small boost with the news that left-back Luke Shaw will likely make a return from a hamstring injury.
The 19-year-old was forced to pull out of the England squads last week, but he has since stepped up his recovery and will be included in the side to take on a resurgent Aston Villa.