Louis van Gaal confirmed on Friday that Rafael Da Silva has returned to training but is not fit enough to play against Arsenal on Sunday.
Rafael’s season has been hindered by constant injuries and a seeming lack of trust from his new manager, and continues the struggles Van Gaal seems to be having with the club’s South American stars.
The Brazilian seems certain to be on his way out at the end of the season, having made just a handful of appearances since the disastrous 5-3 defeat to Leicester in September, where Rafael conceded a penalty at 3-1.
“Rafael has come back but cannot play. Evans is a question mark and Pereira is with Brazil U20s,” said the manager.
Van Gaal to reporters: "Rafael has come back but cannot play. Evans is a question mark and Pereira is with Brazil U20s." #mufc
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 15, 2015
Rafael made a comeback to the starting line-up against Yeovil in January, but came off with a cheekbone injury at half-time, and has rarely been seen since.
A promising comeback in the U21s also ended in an injury, and Rafael’s last chance of an appearance in a red shirt this season could come at Hull next week, with United having nothing left to play for after securing a top four spot.
It could be a chance for Van Gaal to put certain players in the shop window, with Jonny Evans also set for a move away, whilst it could be a final farewell for the likes of David De Gea, Radamel Falcao and even Robin van Persie.