Manchester United have confirmed that Robin van Persie will be absent for around a month with a thigh injury.
The Dutch striker, who had a reputation for being injury-prone before he joined United from Arsenal, has been plagued with injury problems this season and has been unavailable for several games already this season, during which United's form has slumped.
David Moyes stated that although Van Persie played all 90 minutes of his last game, the 1-0 home defeat to Newcastle United, the plan was to take him off earlier, but that circumstances and (worryingly) the potential crowd reaction made him decide to keep him on.
The games Van Persie is certain to miss are: Aston Villa (A), Stoke (A), West Ham (H), Hull (A), Norwich (A), Tottenham (H) and Swansea at home in the FA Cup. He will also be a doubt for the subsequent league game at home against Swansea, and United's trip to Chelsea towards the end of next month.
This is pretty horrible news - Van Persie has been as vital this season as last, as shown by the number of narrow defeats and draws we've had without him on the pitch. Those January reinforcements can't come soon enough.