Robin van Persie has "no chance" of featuring for Manchester United against Swansea City on Saturday, according to manager Louis van Gaal.
The striker returned to preseason training late after reaching the World Cup semifinals, under Van Gaal, with the Netherlands.
Asked whether Van Persie might be fit enough to play Saturday, Van Gaal said: "No chance. He has to train."
The comments echo the former Bayern Munich and Barcelona coach’s statement from earlier this month, when he predicted Van Persie would not be ready.
"Robin wants to play every game, I know that, but so do the other 30 players in the squad," he said at the time. "But players have to train and Robin needs a full training regime behind him before he can play again."
Big-money signing Luke Shaw will also miss out Saturday after picking up a hamstring injury, but Van Gaal is confident of filling the gap left by the teenager.
"We played in the USA [preseason tour] with Reece James and Ashley Young in that position [left wing back]," he reminded reporters. "I’m not worried."