Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has revealed that striker Radamel Falcao is highly unlikely to make it to the squad travelling to north London to face Arsenal at the Emirates, right after the international break.
The Colombia international, who has struggled with nagging fitness issues ever since arriving at Old Trafford in the summer, has been sidelined for the last three weeks with a calf complaint.
The 28-year-old is just one of the several senior players on the Red Devils' injured list. Rafael, Jonny Evans and Phil Jones have also been out for several weeks now and are on the road to recovery, while fellow defender Marcos Rojo will be out till mid-December.
Both Falcao and Rafael posted on Instagram on Tuesday that they have resumed training but van Gaal has now stated that the duo, as well as Evans and Jones, would not start for United when they visit the Emirates on 22 November, also adding that they might not even make the bench.
"No, I don't think so because now some of them have already not played for five, six, seven weeks," The Guardian quoted the Dutchman as saying.
"They could sit on the bench because they can play 20 minutes but I cannot put a lot of players who are not 100% fit on the bench. You saw what happened with [Paddy] McNair [getting cramp against Crystal Palace] because the rhythm of the game is very high in the Premier League."
Falcao's fellow striker Robin van Persie has also picked up a knock and is unavailable for Netherlands' friendly against Mexico on Wednesday but the former Arsenal captain is set to return to the squad for Sunday's Euro 2016 qualifier against Latvia, and will hence be fit to play his ex-club next weekend.
"Van Persie is not quite fit," Oranje coach Guus Hiddink pointed out. "He trained [on Tuesday] but he did not fully participate. I don't think he will be used against Mexico."