The Manchester United manager may welcome the Dutchman back into the pre-season mix as early as Friday…
David Moyes has confirmed that Robin van Persie's half-time withdrawal in a friendly in Japan on Tuesday was merely precautionary and the talismanic Manchester United hitman could be back in action as early as Friday, when the reigning Premier League holders take on Cerezo Osaka.
'Robin was a precaution the other night,' said Moyes to the club's official website. '[Michael] Carrick had a tight groin and is doing better. Carrick probably won't feature tomorrow but should resume training over the weekend.'
Van Persie had been taken off the field earlier in the week following the striker's complaints of a tight thigh. The news immediately made it back to England where the general media speculated that van Persie, who scored 30 goals in 48 appearances last term for United, could miss out on the start of the season.
Well-travelled fitness coach Raymond Verheijen, who has enjoyed spells at Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester City, even took to Twitter to voice his discontent at Moyes' apparent 'Jurassic Park' attitude toward training, pre-season and over-training the Dutchman.
'It really makes you wonder how these prehistoric training methods can still take place at the highest level,' Verheijen, a compatriot of van Persie, said. 'The only way to solve this problem in Jurassic Park is to improve education of these dinosaur coaches, fitness clowns & scientific cowboys.'
All the furore surrounding van Persie's substitution, though, was misplaced.
While van Persie had been out of action on numerous occasions during his spell at Arsenal (four thigh injuries alone in six months between 2007-08, together with eight ankle issues, four knee injuries and three groin strains in eight years) it appears his injury curse remains in the past.
'I expect [him] to play tomorrow.'
image: © little-pete