Manchester United boss David Moyes revealed that Shinji Kagawa missed the 1-0 defeat to Newcastle after eating too much and having his stomach pumped.
The Japan star has struggled to assert himself under Moyes, while the champions struggle in mid-table after a run that has seen them claim only 22 points from their first 14 games. A second successive home defeat on Saturday made the situation a full blown crisis according to some, but eyebrows will now be raised over Kagawa’s bizarre absence.
“Shinji was very sick after the [Everton] game and he did a bit of training on Friday but he was low,” Moyes told the official United website. “All of the stats that we look at were low so we felt we had better not take a risk in case we got an injury by playing him...
“It was a bad sickness. He thinks he ate too much, and he had to get his stomach pumped, but I think he is okay.”
Meanwhile, Moyes rejected claims by BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson that striker Robin van Persie has asked to leave Old Trafford.
"That is absolute nonsense," said the United boss. “I don't know what harder or tougher word I could say but that's as good as I've got."