Manchester United striker Robin van Persie's fresh injury blow has rocked preparations for this weekend's Premier League trip to Aston Villa, with the Dutch master out for at least a month with a fresh injury.
Van Persie's latest spell on the sidelines may have come from a fairly innocuous on-field situation, but Red Devils boss Moyes definitely ran the risk of subjecting an injury-prone player to further problems by rushing him back towards first-team contention too quickly.
Moyes decided that Van Persie could withstand 90 minutes of Premier League action against Newcastle United last weekend, despite Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford being his first competitive appearance in nearly a month.
Admittedly with United pushing for a late equaliser Van Persie would have been desperate to stay on the pitch, but Moyes really should have taken his persistent injury problems into account and sided on a more cautious approach with one of his most important players.
The Netherlands international came through the full game unscathed and looked set to be rested against Shakhtar Donetsk three days later, but instead came off the bench with 27 minutes to play with the scores deadlocked.
His inclusion has ultimately proved very costly, damaging a thigh muscle taking a corner as United secured top spot in their Champions League group with a 1-0 win.
That piece of awful luck will undoubtedly put Moyes' decision to risk last season's top scorer on Tuesday night under intense scrutiny, a move which leaves United without their most consistent supply of goals until at least the start of 2014.
Van Persie's return to the treatment table this season coinciding with new management may well be pure coincidence, but it does raise the valid question of whether Moyes is managing his star striker's training schedule?
United reaped the rewards of a fit and firing Van Persie in his debut campaign at Old Trafford, effectively proving the difference in a one-sided Premier League title race, scoring 26 goals in an ever-present campaign which belied constant struggles with fitness at Arsenal.
Moyes has Sir Alex Ferguson at close quarters and needs to turn to his mentor for advice on keeping Van Persie fit for the second half of the season, because without him United are heavily reliant on Wayne Rooney and lacking a proven predator at the peak of his powers.
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