Robin van Persie
Van Persie hints he will return against Sunderland this Sunday

Manchester United are likely to have Robin van Persie fit to play in their second Premier League tie against Sunderland on Sunday.

Louis van Gaal could also have Antonio Valencia, Jonny Evans and Danny Welbeck back at his disposal after the injured trio took part in first-team training at United's Aon Training Complex on Thursday.

United were without seven members of their starting-eleven for their opening day home defeat to Swansea City last Saturday as a flood of injuries derailed the manager's pre-match plans.

The Dutchman had made it unequivocally clear that van Persie, 31, would not feature in the season's curtain-raiser after the striker's extended break over the summer following his World Cup campaign with Netherlands.

But the former Arsenal skipper would appear ready to line up against the Black Cats, writing through his Twitter account: "Good training session done this morning. Looking forward to Sunday!"

Welbeck, who impressed operating in a front-three alongside Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata during the club's pre-season tour, also returned and could give his manager a further option in attack at the weekend.

The United boss was left extremely short at the back in the 2-1 defeat to the Swans with Evans and Valencia amongst a list of defensive absentees that still includes Luke Shaw, who is facing up to another three weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

Evans and Valencia suffered their knocks ahead of United's final pre-season game but failed to recover in time for the visit of Swansea. Youngsters Jesse Lingard and Tyler Blackett filled in at right wing-back and centre-half respectively, only for the former to come off injured during the first-half.

There was no sight of Marouane Fellaini however after the Belgian suffered an ankle injury in training on Tuesday. The midfielder was pictured leaving Manchester's Bridgewater hospital on crutches with the injured foot in a protective boot, although the extent of the injury remains unknown.

United's new signing Marcos Rojo also participated in Thursday's training session a day after sealing his £16m move from Sporting Lisbon and is in line for a debut at the Stadium of Light on Sunday.