Van Persie Rooney Manchester United
Rooney and Van Persie train ahead of Cardiff. Reuters

Manchester United trio Marouane Fellaini, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie returned to first team training ahead of the visit of Cardiff City.

The trio have been absent from the first team for varying periods while the club have suffered a dismal start to 2014 where they have been eliminated from the FA Cup and the Capital One Cup by Swansea City and Sunderland respectively.

But the Premier League champions have been handed a telling boost after the manager confirmed all three took part in Monday morning's training session ahead of the visit of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.

Van Persie has missed United's last 11 games after suffering a thigh injury, last appearing for the club in the league in the 1-0 defeat to Newcastle in December. Rooney meanwhile has been absent from the first team squad for the last five games after being sent on a warm weather break to Egypt with his fitness coach in a bid to quicken his recovery period.

£27.5m summer signing Fellaini underwent wrist surgery in December and iss understood to be ahead of schedule in his bid to return to the first team.

Rooney and van Persie's absence has been a colossal blow to United's failed attempts to maintain pace with Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea with the club now lying 14 points off the Gunners who sit at the summit of the league.

Moyes' side are also six points adrift of Liverpool in fourth placed, but will be hoping the return of the fearsome strike part ship coupled with the club record arrival of Juan Mata from Chelsea will be enough to instigate a reversal in fortunes.

Rooney (11) and van Persie (10) remain United's top scorers this season despite their lengthy layoffs, and could be in line for a return against Cardiff City on Tuesday evening.