Arsenal striker Robin van Persie could still play against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday evening, despite re-injuring his knee on international duty, according to Holland coach Bert van Marwijk.
Van Persie was taken off at half-time of the World Cup finalists’ 5-3 win over Hungary in a Euro 2012 qualifier on Tuesday night after a challenge from Vilmos Vanczak just before the break.
The striker’s well-publicised problems with injuries, especially to his knees, have left Gunners boss Arsene Wenger sweating over his availability – especially with key games coming up in the Premier League title run-in.
But the early diagnosis looks good, according to Van Marwijk: ‘He was hit by a knee just above his own knee.
‘It didn’t look very serious but it was too painful for him to carry on.’
Speaking to Voetbal International, he added: ‘With luck he could play for Arsenal this weekend.’
Van Marwijk’s optimism is so far proving no consolation for Arsenal fans, though, who were initially under the impression Van Persie would be out for only a few weeks – prior to a three-month ankle injury layoff earlier this season while on international duty.
The 27-year-old had been expected to miss the game after injuring his knee in the Carling Cup final against Birmingham in February, but staged a miraculous recovery to play against Barcelona just 10 days later.
He is expected to return to the Arsenal facilities today where he will be assessed by the club’s own medical staff.
An update on Van Persie’s status is expected on Thursday – once the scan results are known.
Until his injury, the talismanic forward had enjoyed a good stint with the Dutch side – scoring two goals in in their two games against the Hungarians.