By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Bastian Schweinsteiger is facing a race against time to be fit for Manchester United’s clash against Liverpool on Sunday.
The Germany World Cup winner has already been ruled out of United’s match at Newcastle on Tuesday with a knee injury.
He is also a major doubt for United’s landmark trip to face Liverpool at Anfield five days later.
Speaking early on Monday afternoon before the players were due to be assessed ahead of training, Van Gaal gave a pessimistic update on Schweinsteiger.
“Bastian is injured, that we know,” van Gaal told MUTV at the Aon Training Complex on Monday. “We have seen that because he could not move.”
Schweinsteiger suffered a knee injury in the closing stages of United’s 1-0 FA Cup third-round win over Sheffield United on Saturday night after a 50-50 tackle with Chris Basham left him sprawled on the deck.
It initially appeared as if Schweinsteiger may have torn a ligament but, after a lengthy spell of treatment, the midfielder waved off the stretcher and finished the match, which was won by an injury-time penalty from Wayne Rooney.
Van Gaal revealed he will also need to assess other members of his squad ahead of a second game in four days.
“That is difficult, because it is so close to the match against Sheffield United,” added on Monday. “We have to recover. Yesterday we recovered but we have to see if the players are still overloaded or not. Until this moment, the players have not arrived so we have to wait and see.
“After I know all the data, I can line up. That is why it is always difficult in a period when we have to play a lot of matches. You have to wait to see how the players are recovering of the load in the match.”