Manchester United handed Van Persie fitness boost ahead of Real Madrid clash

The 29-year-old suffered a hip injury during Saturday’s win over QPR but is in line to take a place on the bench against Norwich before returning in the Champions League

By Paul Clennam

Manchester United expect Robin van Persie to be 100 per cent fit in time to face Real Madrid in next Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 second leg, can reveal.

The Dutchman was forced off 41 minutes into his side’s 2-0 win over QPR on Saturday after falling into a bunker designated for use by cameramen at Loftus Road.

Van Persie, whose Arsenal career was blighted by a succession of long-term injuries, suffered bruising to his hip during the fall and is believed to have been in some pain in the hours following the incident.

“Robin’s been left with some heavy bruising,” a source told “And although he’s been in relative discomfort the club expect him to be absolutely fine by the start of next week.”

However, Sir Alex Ferguson is set to omit the Netherlands international from his starting line-up for Saturday’s meeting with Norwich at Old Trafford in order to give him time to recover.

The 29-year-old could yet take a place on the bench for the clash with the Canaries, but should be in line for a return to the first XI for the arrival of Real Madrid regardless.

The Red Devils go into their meeting with Jose Mourinho’s side with a slim aggregate advantage by virtue of their away goal in a 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu on February 13.

Van Persie has netted 23 goals in 32 appearances this season, with three of those coming in five European outings.

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