David Moyes’ decision to not play Shinji Kagawa so far this season for Manchester United is more to do with fitness than his ability according to the Scot.
The 24-year-old completed Japan’s World Cup qualifiers earlier this summer, competed in the Confederations Cup and then joined up with United on their Japanese stop on the pre-season tour of Asia, so has hardly had any time to recuperate.
And Moyes has insisted that those players who had played in the Confederations Cup such as Kagawa and Hernandez would be eased into the season slowly.
“There are quite a lot of players who have not featured yet,” he said.
“But if you look at it most of them were late back from international duty after the Confederations Cup, then they were away for a friendly international and a long-haul flight, then they were away again for another international.
“If you look at the reasons why people haven’t played, it is more to do with them not being available for that to happen.”
There have been plenty of calls for Kagawa to start against Crystal Palace this weekend and while it would be fantastic to see the Japanese playmaker feature as soon as possible in the Premier League, there is no point rushing him back if it would risk injury.
In the past seven days, Kagawa has played nearly two full matches and travelled over 10,000 miles so it would be pushing his body to the limit to play him against Palace.
Moyes knows how good Kagawa is, everybody does, but he is doing right by him to make sure he plays at the right time rather than letting him risk being injured.
It may be frustrating to see Kagawa not play week in week out so far but it would be even more frustrating to see him get injured.