Robin van Persie aims to make his comeback from injury in April’s derby clash with Manchester City.
The Manchester United striker has been out of action since damaging ankle ligaments in February’s defeat at Swansea City.
Van Persie’s rehabilitation efforts have thus far centred on fitness and gym work but he will begin training outdoors again at the start of the week.
United anticipate that it could take up to 10 days before he is ready to rejoin full first-team training and, assuming that there are no setbacks, is likely to be considered for selection ahead of the derby at Old Trafford on April 12.
Van Persie’s third season with the Red Devils has been a frustrating one, despite the arrival of Louis van Gaal. The pair combined to help an unheralded Dutch team to reach the semi finals of the World Cup last summer but Van Gaal’s presence in the dugout has failed to trigger a return to the form which saw the striker catapult United to a 20th league title in 2013.
In 24 league appearances so far this season, Van Persie has scored a respectable 10 times but only twice in his last nine games in all competitions before his latest injury setback.
The ex-Arsenal star, who will turn 32 in August, has only 16 months left to run on his contract and Goal understands that he is yet to enter into serious discussions over his long-term future.