• Premier League

Van Persie joins Rooney on sidelines

ESPN staff
November 12, 2012
Robin van Persie has withdrawn from the Netherlands squad with a thigh strain © Getty Images

Manchester United face injury concerns over their two leading strikers after Robin van Persie followed Wayne Rooney in withdrawing from his country's squad for Wednesday's friendlies.

Rooney will miss England's international with Sweden because of an ankle injury while Van Persie has suffered a thigh strain that will keep him out of Netherlands' game with Germany.

It could leave Sir Alex Ferguson with only two fit forwards - Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck - for Saturday's trip to Norwich, which is the first of four games in 11 days.

The Scot has already guaranteed Hernandez a start at Carrow Road after he scored twice as a substitute in the 3-2 win over Aston Villa to take his tally to seven goals from his last five games.

Van Persie has been an ever present in the Premier League since his £24 million move from Arsenal in August, scoring eight goals in nine starts and setting up Hernandez's winner at Villa Park.

While he has a reputation for being injury prone, the Dutchman has not missed a league game since Arsenal's 0-0 draw with Sunderland in March 2011.

Rooney missed a month of the season because of a gash to his thigh, sustained in the 3-2 win over Fulham, but has started the last five league games.

After his withdrawal, England manager Roy Hodgson called up winger Wilfried Zaha from Championship club Crystal Palace.

Without Van Persie, who has scored 31 times in 71 appearances for Netherlands, Schalke's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is likely to lead the line against Germany.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.