Robin van Persie will not be rushed into Sunday’s Manchester Derby after just two days of full training with Manchester United first-team, according to manager Louis van Gaal.
The Dutch striker has not featured for the Red Devils since suffering an ankle injury during the 2-1 defeat by Swansea at the Liberty Stadium in February.
The striker took a giant leap towards full fitness this week when he declared himself “fit and able to play again”, but Van Gaal insists the crucial derby at home to Manchester City has come thick and fast for his compatriot.
“No (Van Persie is not ready). He’s back in training session so that is a plus. He trained two days with us and, today, he had recovery. So I think that is not enough to play,” Van Gaal told MUTV.
The 63-year-old also delivered updates on defenders Luke Shaw and Chris Smallings.
“We have to wait and see always (on Smalling and Shaw),” he added. “I don’t think Shaw (will play) but I do think Smalling can play.”
United, who have won eight of their last ten Premier League matches, are third on the standings, eight points adrift of leaders Chelsea who have a game in hand. A point separate Van Gaal’s side and fourth-placed City, following the latter’s defeat at Crystal Palace last Monday.