MANCHESTER UNITED MANAGER Alex Ferguson says Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa are both available for the visit of Wigan Athletic.
Kagawa had been a doubt with a back problem after opting to sit out Japan’s 1-0 win over Iraq on Tuesday and was not expected to be risked this weekend after having scans, but the midfielder appears to have recovered.
Van Persie too was a doubt after being withdrawn at half-time of the Netherlands’ World Cup qualifier against Hungary, however Ferguson said he has a full squad to pick from, except for long-term absentees.
“On the injury front, everyone’s fit, apart from the ones we know about – (Phil) Jones and (Chris) Smalling,” he said. ”Jones was a bad blow for us. He got an injury in training last weekend.
“He’ll be out for 8-10 weeks. We expect Smalling to be back training inside a month. But with Jonny Evans now back we’re in better shape at centre-back than we were a couple of weeks ago.”
Several players, including Kagawa, have returned to United after travelling long distances, but Ferguson is hopeful they will all be fine for the match.
“You always have concerns about players travelling (long distances) in international breaks — we had Chicharito (Javier Hernandez), (Antonio) Valencia and Kagawa. ”They’ve all done it before, although with Shinji we don’t know exactly how he reacts to travelling back from long distances. Hopefully he’ll be okay.”
Another player who will be available is Darren Fletcher, who has not played a competitive match for United since December due to a chronic bowel condition. After several reserve-team appearances and increased activity in training, Ferguson has named him in the squad.
“Darren’s training well and played in the reserves on Monday night,” he said. ”The next step is when we can involve him in a game in the first team.
“He’s in the squad tomorrow, simply because I think it will give him a boost. It’s a chance to progress. At this moment in time everything’s going fine for him. We understand the condition he has to deal with – that can change but hopefully he’s managed to conquer it in terms of his diet and how he handles it.
“Things are going well at the moment.”