Manchester - Manchester United have suffered yet another defensive injury with right-back Rafael da Silva ruled out for the rest of the season after breaking his ribs.
Manager Louis van Gaal told MUTV that the Brazilian suffered the injury in an Under-21 match against Leicester this week.
United, who lie in third place, a point behind Arsenal and one ahead of neighbours Manchester City, do have centre-back Jonny Evans available again after a six-match ban for Sunday's Premier League match at Everton.
But Michael Carrick, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo remain sidelined.
Striker Robin van Persie, who has not played since February, was a substitute in last Saturday's defeat by leaders Chelsea, but he has been told he must work to get his place back.
"He has to train very hard, play in the second team," Van Gaal told a news conference on Friday.
"He has to show his qualities again. Then I have to compare him with the positions he can play, with the players that play in that position."
After a difficult start to his first season at the club, the manager is pleased with United's recent form, although he told reporters he would never be satisfied with the minor placings.
"I'm always in a club to win the championship, not fourth or third position," he said.
"When we achieve our goal, my board and my owners will be very happy.
"The result was the only thing that was not going in my way, and of course finishing the chances," he added of the 1-0 defeat at Chelsea, when United had 70 percent of the possession.
"That is what counts it football. I think is not only performance but result that counts."
The Dutchman refused to comment on strong speculation about United signing PSV Eindhoven's winger Memphis Depay.
"I do not discuss it with the media," he said.