Fellaini has been included in every one of van Gaal’s matchday squads since November and it was a surprise to see him miss out at the Stadium of Light.
Morgan Schneiderlin started in the Belgian’s absence as a loss against Sunderland cut Man United further adrift in the race to finish in the top four of the Premier League.
When asked whether Fellaini is injured, van Gaal said: “More or less. He has played a lot of matches in a row. I have to rotate.”
Van Gaal was pressed on whether Fellaini was being rested rather than injured, to which he replied: “Yes, but of course you are then close to being injured.”
Fellaini has received some criticism as of late but United could have used his physical presence against Sunderland, who out-fought van Gaal’s side on Saturday.
The loss against The Black Cats has left United in serious danger of missing out on Champions League football next season and it is hard to see them turning things around with van Gaal in charge.