EXCLUSIVE | By Manchester correspondent Alex Stevens

Robin van Persie is expected to be sidelined for another month with the ankle injury that has kept him out of Manchester United’s last six matches.

Football Insider sources have learned that the Holland international is still in pain from the ankle problem he suffered in United’s 2-1 defeat to Swansea City on 21 February and is not yet ready to return to full training.

Manager Louis van Gaal has already ruled his fellow Dutchman out of the Manchester derby on 12 April and it is understood he is also set to miss the subsequent league trips to Chelsea and Everton.

Van Persie is targeting the home match against West Brom on 2 May for his comeback, by which time he could have missed nine matches.

United have thrived in the 31-year-old’s absence, winning five consecutive league matches and losing just once, the FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Arsenal.

Van Gaal has abandoned the two-striker formation he favoured for most of the season and changed to 4-1-4-1, with Wayne Rooney leading the line and Radamel Falcao relegated to the substitute’s bench.

Van Persie fell awkwardly after delivering a cross in the Swansea match and left the Liberty Stadium on crutches and with a protective cast on his right foot.