Robin van Persie has escaped serious damage to his ankle, scans have confirmed, but he is expected to miss Manchester United's weekend game against QPR, reports The Mail.
Van Persie was forced off during the Red Devils' home defeat to Southampton on Sunday and could not attend the Ballon d'Or award ceremony on the advice of doctors. He was nominated for the Puskas award, given to the best goal of the year, eventually finishing third.
The Dutchman confirmed his absence through Twitter and went for a scan yesterday with Louis van Gaal nervously waiting on the results. Luckily for the Manchester United boss, the results confirmed there had been no serious damage and Van Persie can now expect to be back on the pitch soon.
Chance for a longer recovery
Manchester United take on QPR this weekend with Radamel Falcao tipped to come in for Van Persie, but the 31-year-old is expected to be fit for the fourth round tie against Cambridge United the following weekend.
However, Van Persie was rested for the third round tie against Yeovil and Van Gaal may opt to give fringe players like James Wilson a chance to shine against League Two opposition.
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Falcao's final chance gone
Falcao himself is getting less playing time than many expected. The Colombian was left out of the squad for the Southampton game with some outlets reporting that he stormed out of Old Trafford upon learning of the snub.
While Manchester United fans will be delighted to learn of Van Persie's narrow escape, it will come as a blow to Falcao, who is facing a fight to earn a permanent move to Old Trafford. Van Gaal seems to have already made his mind up over the star, who is earning a reported £265,000-a-week on his season-long loan deal.
Van Persie, who himself earns £250,000-a-week, is also playing for his future with reports suggesting that few inside Old Trafford are thinking of renewing his current contract, which has just 18 months left to run.