Louis van Gaal has indicated he is unwilling to risk Manchester United players from the start against Arsenal this weekend who are only just returning from injury.
Radamel Falcao and Rafael have both separately confirmed they have returned to training with Manchester United but having been missing for a couple of weeks or more, their match fitness could come into question.
Phil Jones and Jonny Evans are also working their way back towards fitness but have been out for substantial periods this season.
United fans desperately want to see Falcao start but Van Gaal may air on the side of caution.
“No, I don’t think so because now some of them have already not played for five, six, seven weeks,” Van Gaal said when asked if the quartet could start against Arsenal.
“They could sit on the bench because they can play twenty minutes but I cannot put a lot of players who are not 100 per cent fit on the bench.
“You saw what happened with (Paddy) McNair (getting cramp against Palace having only recently returned from injury) because the rhythm of the game is very high in the Premier League.”
Given United’s injury record this season, rushing players back into action is probably the last thing Van Gaal should so you can understand his trepidation in that respect. The last thing United need is for players to be brought back too soon and to aggravate an injury.
However, there are two weeks to go until the game and anything can happen. With players away on international duty, there could yet be some more spanners thrown into the injury works which could change Van Gaal’s plans.