We have noticed you are using an ad blocker
To continue providing news and award winning journalism, we rely on advertising revenue.
To continue reading, please turn off your ad blocker or whitelist us.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal will not be forced into including Marouane Fellaini, Phil Jones or Antonio Valencia in his team to face West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns despite confirming that the trio are fit for the Premier League clash. The three have trained ahead of the game but are unlikely to be risked before they have played for the club's Under-21 side.
Fellaini has not played since February's draw at Chelsea due to a hamstring injury, while Jones has been unavailable to the first team for over two months after suffering a recurrence of an ankle injury suffered against Swansea City in January. Valencia, meanwhile, has been out since October after undergoing surgery on a foot problem.
United are currently without 13 first team players due to injury, after Marcos Rojo became the latest player to be sidelined after suffering a kick to the foot on his return from a shoulder injury against Arsenal. Luke Shaw and Wayne Rooney are longer-term absentees.
Despite being able to welcome back a throng of players to training, it looks likely that none of them will feature at West Brom, having yet to recapture full match fitness. Van Gaal also confirmed that Ashley Young is in line to return for United in March and Bastian Schweinsteiger will resume training next week, while Will Keane's groin operation in the US was a success.
"Players are coming back but then, normally, they cannot play a match because the rhythm of the game is much higher," the United boss told MUTV. "So, we have to train more and let them play in the second team. Maybe because I'm forced, because of the circumstances to take a risk, like I have done with Marcos Rojo but, when I'm not forced to, then I shall not do that.
"A lot [of players] can do that [make Sunday's squad] but it's also what I have already told - I don't want to take a risk. Valencia is coming back, Fellaini is coming back, Jones is coming back. A lot of players are coming back, and I have said that in former press conferences."
"He [Keane] had a fantastic operation, like Ashley Young, it was more or less the same operation. He is coming back [to England] on Tuesday, and I'm hoping he comes back [to play] as quickly as Ashley Young because he's also coming back in March. Schweinsteiger may train with the first team next week."