PICTURE: Van Persie watches on from the stands during United's semi-final

Optimized DSC 0244

Manchester United striker was not passed fit to feature against Sunderland.

Despite returning to training, Robin van Persie was not judged fit enough to feature against Sunderland in United's crucial League Cup semi-final.

The Dutchman had to make do with watching on from the stands alongside suspended Nemanja Vidic.

Despite United leading 1-0 going into half-time, Van Persie hardly looked happy, watching on intently.

Sportsmen notoriously find it difficult to watch any match they'd like to compete in, with Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand commenting in the past it drives them mad.

The striker is expected to be hoping to be back for United's next league fixture, at home to Cardiff City next week.

Cheer up Robin, you could have Juan Mata playing alongside you by then!

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch