Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has confirmed that Robin van Persie is close to making his return to fitness.
The Dutch striker has been out of action since the 2-1 defeat against Swansea on February 21 with an ankle injury.
Van Gaal confirmed that Van Persie had started running again and doing some fitness work. No time frame has been put on the Manchester United striker's return, and he won't be back in action for the game against Liverpool on Sunday.
The Red Devils' boss also confirmed that neither Marcos Rojo or Luke Shaw are fit to feature at Anfield on Sunday, however they could be named on the bench.
The former Arsenal forward may have a struggle on his hands to get his starting spot back when he is fit, with Van Gaal deploying Wayne Rooney as a lone striker. He will also have to fight off competition from Radamel Falcao who is struggling to prove his worth before the end of his loan spell in the summer.
Van Gaal's team are facing a key showdown in the race for top four football and Champions League qualification against Liverpool. They currently sit in fourth place, just two points behind Manchester City in second place, while Liverpool are two points behind their great rivals.
The Manchester United boss, who guided his team to a 3-0 win over Liverpool back in December, says those at the club who have been bought up on the rivalry with the Reds are ensuring he doesn't under-estimate the task at hand.
He told reporters: "I have the cook, Mike, saying that [it's important] every day to the players and me. I like that as it shows that it is a very particular match, especially for the fans of Manchester United. It also helps us to concentrate on this match."
Manchester United fans will welcome the sight of Robin van Persie stepping up his comeback to full fitness - but there's no guarantee that he will waltz straight back into the first team.
The Dutch forward has managed just ten goals this season, while Van Gaal has this week been extolling the virtue of Rooney as a lone forward this week.
Indeed, at 31, his days could well be numbered.
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