Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has admitted that he has sent Bastian Schweinsteiger on holiday not only to sort out his injuries, but also to change his mindset.
The midfielder has been sidelined for United’s previous six matches after he picked up a knee injury during their narrow 1-0 win over Sheffield United in January.
Schweinsteiger continued to play for the rest of the FA Cup third round clash and it was initially thought that the 31-year-old would only be sidelined for a couple of weeks.
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But Van Gaal admits that he is unsure when the German will be returning to first-team action and revealed that he has sent the former Bayern Munich star on holiday to sort out his mindset.
"I cannot say Bastian is returning within two weeks because I have given him, more or less, a little holiday as he has to change his mindset also," the Dutchman told MUTV.
"It's good for players. I have done that also with Antonio Valencia, Marcos Rojo and Luke Shaw, for example, when you are injured for longer than normal."
Schweinsteiger signed with Bayern Munich as a youth team player in 1998 and spent 17 seasons playing senior football with Munich and their reserve side, Bayern Munich II.
He joined Old Trafford in the summer for around £6.5 million and became the first ever German to play for the Red Devils. However, he has struggled with injury recently and has made 17 appearance in the league from a possible 25.
The German still has over two years remaining on his contract having been offered a three year deal when he signed in July 2015.
Top four aspirations
Van Gaal will be hoping Schweinsteiger can be called upon again soon with his side still having faint hopes of achieving a top four finish. His side are currently six points behind Manchester City whilst a further point behind north London duo Arsenal and Tottenham.
However, United face Sunderland on Saturday while City and Spurs meet at the Etihad and Arsenal host table toppers Leicester, meaning they will close the gap on the top four with a win.
Schweinsteiger will also be hoping to return to full fitness by the end of the season in time for the European Championships in France this summer. After Phillip Lahm retired from international duty last year, he was handed the captain’s armband for Germany.
Schweinsteiger is currently the fourth highest capped German of all-time with 114, but trails Lothar Matthaus, who is the most capped, by 36 matches.