Shinji Kagawa, the two marque summer signings for Manchester United, both were injured while on international duty for Holland and Japan, respectively. van Persie was substituted off at half-time in Holland's 4-1 World Cup qualifying defeat of Hungary because of an apparent thigh injury. However, after the match, Holland manager Louis van Gaal claimed the injury may not be too serious:and
"We took off Robin for precautionary measures. It doesn't seem to be too serious, but you never know. We didn't want to take any risks,"
- van Gaal | Source: SBS6
Kagawa participated for a half last week in a friendly for Japan but he was withdrawn on Tuesday prior to his side's World Cup qualifier with Iraq due to a twinge in his back. The playmaker did downplay the injury though:
Quite obviously, the downplaying of these injuries hopefully ends up being accurate. However, van Persie's vast injury history is always concerning while Kagawa's long-flight back to England from Japan may not be what the doctor ordered for a treatment plan (*). Starting Saturday versus Wigan Athletic, United face a congested fixture list of seven matches in a twenty-three day span. With the injuries to Wayne Rooney and Ashley Young, and with the long flights that Antonio Valencia and Javier Hernandez (Chicharito) have in coming back from the Americas, injuries possibly limiting the availability of RvP and Kagawa is not what the United attack needs -- especially when when these latter two have been the club's best attackers in the young season. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson will likely have some sort of update on Friday during his weekly press conference. We'll have it covered.
"I felt a twinge in the back during practice when I was on the ball. I had some treatment but didn't want to risk causing the team trouble by playing. Obviously it's a shame I wasn't able to play. It's not that serious and I don't think it will keep me out for long."
- Kagawa | Source: Kyodo news agency
(*) Not that I have any clue as to what the doctors recommended for a treatment plan. However, I am quite certain they didn't say, "Hey, I bet a flight half-way around the world from Japan to England is optimal for your back right now!"