The Dutchman had a very tough summer with Holland at the World Cup and since returning from his extended break, has worked on his fitness but currently looks way below his full match sharpness.
It is suggested that Holland put pressure on Van Persie to rest his knee rather than undergo surgery which would have ruled him out of the World Cup which, if true, could have caused long-term effects in the same fashion as Arturo Vidal going against medical advice to play at the World Cup soon after surgery.
At the moment, Van Gaal is happy with how Van Persie is handling his return to football: “He played 60 minutes in his first game back and 70 minutes today, so I think it’s a case of building up his game time,” he said after the Burnley game.
“It’s frustrating, but it’s part of the world of football, because of the World Cup. It’s a pity, but we have to do it because otherwise he wouldn’t be fit for the season.”
Thanks to an international break, Van Persie will be able to recuperate and the real test will be how he performs against QPR in 14 days because it gives him more time to work on his match sharpness.
If Van Persie is unable to re-find that form, then reports he needs surgery may well be true. However, it would have been a strange move by Van Gaal to not ask Van Persie to undergo surgery immediately after the World Cup if it was the case he knew he needed it.