Following Manchester United’s 3-0 triumph over Olympiacos, manager David Moyes remained upbeat on Robin van Persie’s knee injury.
“I don’t think Robin’s too bad,” Moyes told reporters in his post-match press conference.
“He’s got a knock just behind his knee. We’ll know more in the morning – we’ll assess it – but he had a knock in the back of his knee. We hope it’s not too bad.”
The injury occurred just before stoppage time when Olympiacos center-back Kostas Manolas tackled van Persie from behind, driving his leg through the back of the Dutch striker’s knee. The challenge dropped van Persie to the ground, writhing in agony before being stretchered off.
Confirming the injury to be a knock, and not ligament damage, Moyes has given some hope that his striker could be available for United’s league match at West Ham on Saturday.
Van Persie’s performance on Wednesday night will go down as one of his finest in a United shirt. In the 23rd minute his reception of Wayne Rooney’s pass and clever body positioning triggered a poor tackle from behind by Jose Holebas for a stone-wall penalty that van Persie duly converted.
Then just before the half-time whistle van Persie doubled United’s lead when he latched on to Rooney’s brilliant shake and cross that the Dutchman slammed home from six yards out. Van Persie completed his hat-trick in the 51st minute after Danny Welbeck drew a free-kick outside the box that the Dutch striker hooked over the wall and into the left side of the net, leaving the Olympiacos goalkeeper motionless.
“To score a hat-trick in Champions League football is a big thing,” Moyes said afterwards. “I think there are only certain players in the world capable of it, and Robin van Persie is one of them.”