Manchester United have received a massive boost ahead of the recommencement of their campaign, with Sir Alex Ferguson declaring Robin Van Persie and Shinji Kagawa fit after injury scares cast a shadow over their involvement this weekend.
Manchester United welcome Wigan Athletic to Old Trafford tomorrow (read our match preview HERE) and will have almost a full complement of players to choose from.
Robin Van Persie and Shinji Kagawa were both under injury clouds after their involvement in the international fixtures over the last week, and neither were given much chance of playing in tomorrow’s league fixture. Sir Alex Ferguson, however, has clarified the situation, insisting he has no injury problems to contend with, other than the long running cases which are keeping Chris Smalling and Phil Jones out of the side.
“Jones was a bad blow for us. He got an injury in training last weekend and he’ll be out for eight to 10 weeks.
“We expect Smalling to be back training by the end of the month. There’s a little bit of comfort in that sense, given our centre-back situation. But with Jonny [Evans] back we’re in a better position than we were a couple of weeks ago.
This means that Darren Fletcher is back in the first team squad, marking another stage in his remarkable fight back from illness. It is a battle that he has not completely won, and it is a problem that perhaps will never be overcome in it’s entirety, but it speaks volumes for the Scottish captain’s battling qualities to return to the squad after so little time out of the game. It was news that Sir Alex was unsurprisingly delighted to announce:
“Darren’s training well and played in the reserves on Tuesday night.
“The next step is when we can involve him in a game in the first team. He’s in the squad tomorrow, simply because I think it will give him a boost. It’s a chance to progress. At this moment in time everything’s going fine for him.
“We understand the condition he has to deal with. That can change but hopefully he’s managed to conquer it in terms of his diet and how he handles it. Things are going well at the moment.”
Despite the overall good news on the injury front, Sir Alex was still cautious in making sure he did not give too much away about team selection ahead of the Wigan game, stating that the long distances travelled by Javier Hernandez, Antonio Valencia and Shinji Kagawa could prove an obstacle, particularly for Kagawa:
“You always have concerns about players travelling in international breaks – we had Chicharito, Valencia and Kagawa.
“They’ve all done it before, although with Shinji we don’t know exactly how he reacts to travelling back from long distances. Hopefully he’ll be okay.”
With Champions League football also getting underway for United this week, Sir Alex will be aware of the need to rotate his players to ensure optimum performance, as well as keeping everyone match fit, meaning the good news for Robin Van Persie, Shinji Kagawa, Jonny Evans and Darren Fletcher does not guarantee any of them involvement against Wigan.