Robin van Persie will miss the start of the league season, Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has revealed.
The striker captained Van Gaal's Netherlands team to a third-place finish in the World Cup but the 62-year-old said Van Persie, who will begin training on Monday, will not be ready to begin the game against Swansea on Aug. 16.
He will also sit out United's preseason friendly against Valencia on Aug. 12, which will be Van Gaal's first match in charge at Old Trafford.
"Robin will begin training on Monday but he won't play against Valencia, definitely not," said Van Gaal in his news conference after United's 3-1 win over Real Madrid. "He won't play in the Premier League either.
"When a player has been on holiday for three weeks they have to train. I'm sorry but players have to train and Robin needs a full training regime behind him before he can play again.
"People can criticise me for my decision but I know what to do with players who have had three weeks' holiday."
Van Persie's absence could open the way for Danny Welbeck to start the season in the United team.
The England international has been Wayne Rooney's regular partner in attack during the International Champions Cup games in the United States, while Van Gaal has used Wilfried Zaha and Javier Hernandez as substitutes.
Key European club fixtures
French Ligue 1 -- Aug. 8
FA Community Shield: Manchester City vs. Arsenal -- Aug. 10
German Super Cup: Borussia Dortmund vs. Bayern Munich -- Aug. 13
English Premier League -- Aug. 16
Spanish Super Cup: Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid -- Aug. 19 and 22
Spanish La Liga/German Bundesliga -- Aug. 23
Italian Serie A -- Aug. 30
And one of them will get the opportunity in the Premier League with the United manager adding: "Hopefully, Robin will get his fitness back very fast but, for now, he won't play. Robin wants to play every game, I know that, but so do the other 30 players in the squad."
Van Persie, who has scored 48 goals in two seasons since joining from Arsenal, is a contender for the United captaincy under Van Gaal.