Robin van Persie trains, says he’s “fit and able to play” for Manchester United

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Could Manchester United have Robin van Persie available for Sunday’s big Manchester Derby against City?

The Dutch playmaker, 31,  has returned to training after a long absence due to a Feb. 21 ankle injury.

[ MORE: Wilshere returns for Arsenal ]

United is in third place on the Premier League table, one point behind Arsenal for second and a point ahead of No. 4 City.

Van Persie has 10 goals and two assists in 24 Premier League appearances this season.

It’s unlikely he’s ready for extending playing time, but don’t put it past Louis van Gaal to keep RVP on the substitute’s bench, if only for the spectre of his looming over the proceedings.