Manchester United manager David Moyes has confirmed that Robin van Persie is not sufficiently fit to face Tottenham on New Year's Day, while the Premier League champions might also be without Wayne Rooney as he continues to struggle with a groin problem.
Rooney did not train on Tuesday as he continues to deal with the adductor strain that kept him out of Saturday's victory over Norwich City, while van Persie remains short of fitness as he continues to work back from groin and thigh problems.
United will make a late decision on Rooney's involvement for the game at Old Trafford.
David Moyes confirms RVP "not quite ready" for Tottenham and that Wayne Rooney did not train today and will be assessed tomorrow.— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) December 31, 2013
If Rooney is assessed as unfit to play, then Moyes is likely to turn to Danny Welbeck—especially after the England international scored the winner against Norwich in the absence of his two illustrious team-mates.
At the weekend Moyes admitted that Rooney's injury is the sort that would ideally be treated by a few weeks of rest, but the packed nature of the current fixture schedule made such treatment difficult.
He told the club's official website:
He has got the same injury that kept him out at Stoke. It is an adductor injury to his groin, it is not serious but ideally we could have given him two or three weeks to recover completely. But he has been so influential for the team and we want to get him back playing.
Van Persie, meanwhile, is back in light training after being sidelined for most of December, the Dutchman missing five games since making a substitute appearance against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.
As quoted by The Independent, Moyes said:
Robin’s started some light training and he might not be too far away.
We’ve not had [van Persie and Rooney] as a partnership very often and we’re looking forward to getting them back together.