Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has confirmed that Robin van Persie is the only player unavailable for his side's midweek Premier League clash against Newcastle, although he admits that Michael Carrick will also not be risked on Wednesday.
Van Persie, who has been out of action since damaging his ligaments during United's Premier League defeat at Swansea City on 21 February, has already missed the Red Devils' 2-0 win over Sunderland last weekend.
Now the 31-year-old Dutchman has also been ruled out for the Red Devils' upcoming trip to Newcastle, and van Gaal admits he is not sure when the striker will be returning to full fitness.
"It is difficult to say as, in every training session, you can be injured or the fatigue specialist can say he is not fit enough to play a game," van Gaal told MUTV. "And then I have to decide not to use that player. So it's always difficult to say but the only injured player is van Persie. It is too quick to say anything about that [a length of absence for the striker]."
This injury will certainly come as a big blow to United, who has some tough fixtures against Arsenal (FA Cup), Tottenham and Liverpool (both Premier League) following their trip to Newcastle United.
Meanwhile, van Gaal also confirmed that Michael Carrick will not be featuring against Newcastle as the Dutchman doesn't want to risk the midfielder, who is still a little unsteady following a long-term ankle injury he suffered in July.
"I think it is too early for Michael Carrick. He trained now in three training sessions with us," said the former Barcelona boss, adding that he took a "risk" by using the midfielder as a substitute against Sunderland.
"Because of the three players I didn't bring with us [against Sunderland], he was in the 18 and I took a risk with that."
"As a substitute, you can play 20 minutes, which he can do. He has the experience so I can make an exception. He is also a captain, so I can make an exception but it is not often I do that."