Van Persie has missed Manchester United’s last six games following an ankle injury he suffered in the 2-1 defeat at Swansea on February 21. Manager Louis van Gaal said last week he did not expect the striker to be fit enough to return for Sunday’s game against Manchester City at Old Trafford, but Van Persie reported good news for United fans on Wednesday. The 31-year-old tweeted: “Back to training with the group today. Was a great session. Happy to be fit and able to play again. Looking forward to my next game!” Even if Van Gaal considers Van Persie to be fit to take part in the derby, it is hard to see how the former Arsenal front man would fit into the starting XI. United have hardly missed the Dutchman, who has scored just 10 goals this term. During his absence, the Red Devils have only lost once – against his former employers Arsenal in the FA Cup. United have recorded creditable victories over Tottenham and Liverpool and last Saturday they moved above City into third with a 3-1 win over Aston Villa. Wayne Rooney scored a stunning volley during the win. The United skipper has performed well up front in a 4-3-3 formation alongside Ashley Young and Juan Mata, who scored both goals in the 2-1 win at Anfield two-and-a-half weeks ago. Marouane Fellaini has also provided able and robust support from midfield. Victory for United this weekend would pile more misery on out-of-form City and improve Van Gaal’s chances of achieving his target of Champions League qualification. Once he returns from his summer break, he is likely to take United on a shortened pre-season tour, with the most likely destination the United States, it has emerged. Van Gaal made no secret of his annoyance at United’s pre-season schedule last summer. United had already committed themselves to a three-week long tour that took in five matches across five American cities by the time Van Gaal took over as manager. United travelled almost 13,500 miles on the trip, which included games in Los Angeles, Denver, Detroit, Washington DC and Miami – all against high-profile opposition. This summer’s tour is expected to see United take on fewer opponents and undertake less travel. The trip will have to be over a shorter period of time too as the Premier League season begins on August 8 – just eight weeks after the end of the international break. It is understood that Van Gaal will sign off plans for the tour in the coming weeks. Press Association Robin van Persie has declared himself fit for Sunday’s Manchester derby.
Students in the freshman seminar “It Ought to be Law” successfully introduced a bill to the California state Senate that would make it mandatory for all public high schools in the state to have automatic external defibrillators available.Senate Bill 63 has been introduced into the California State Senate by Senator Curren Price (D-Los Angeles), who represents the area surrounding USC.The bill also stipulates all school-sponsored athletic events have AEDs available for use, schools have an emergency plan in place and school officials take a certified training course to operate an AED.Professor Nina Rathbun and former State Sen. Kevin Murray teach the class, which has two sessions, with a combined 21 students enrolled.“The entire class is about learning the political system, and in particular, the California state political system, through the practical experience of introducing [a] bill, and lobbying for it, and following it through,” Rathbun said.Students were asked to brainstorm ideas for a bill the first few class sessions. They then chose the issue of AEDs as their focus after hearing about a student-athlete in Texas who experienced sudden cardiac arrest, but whose life was saved because of an AED, according to Rathbun.“I have a friend who suffered from cardiac arrest on a football field in my neighborhood, and almost died from that,” said Emily Welch, a freshman in the class who is majoring in economics and English. “A law was passed very similar to the law that we are trying to pass … We all decided that this was something we wanted to see through in California.”The bill was drafted entirely by students, and students conducted their own research on the subject of cardiac arrest.Murray is USC’s politician-in-residence, and used his experience in the Senate to help students understand the legislative process.“Senator Murray has been a driving force in pushing the students to act professionally and helping them know what the next step is,” Rathbun said.Price introduced the bill to the Senate in early January.The bill was referred to the Education and Health Committees on March 3, and is currently in the Education Committee.The class is planning to fly to Sacramento on March 23 to give testimony to the Senate, according to Rathbun.“It’s quite likely that the bill will get out of committee which is the next step, and I think that it has a fairly good chance of passage,” Rathbun said. “The major issue will not be substantive, but financial.”The bill mandates that costs related to the AEDs will be funded by the state “if the Commission on State Mandates determines that [the] act contains costs mandated by the state.”Students said the chance to work on real legislation has been invaluable.“It was an incredible opportunity,” said Navtaj Singh, a freshman student in the class majoring in political science. “Creating a bill, learning the type of language used to come up with it, [learning] the costs we have to be aware of and learning about the other aspects leading up to the presenting the bill to the Committee and the Senate.”
Meanwhile the Tipp footballers Round 7 league game against Cavan will go ahead n Sunday in Kingspan Breffni Park at 3 as previously scheduled.Last weekends postponed game against Down is yet to be finalised and may depend on the sequence of results next weekend. Tipperary’s rescheduled National Hurling League quarter-final will form part of a double header in Croke Park next Sunday.The Premier will face the Dubs at 1 o’clock ahead of the football clash between Dublin and Monaghan.The other outstanding quarter-final between Wexford and Galway will be played on Saturday in Wexford Park at 3pm.