Manchester United legend Roy Keane has cast doubt on the reason for Cristiano Ronaldo's absence in the derby, as he insists the injury narrative "doesn't add up".
CR7 was dropped to the bench for the clash with Burnley last month, but had started the last five matches before being left out of the Manchester City game with a hip problem.
And he accused manager Ralf Rangnick of being vague about the issue as he pointed to his former team-mate's stellar injury record.
When asked about the absence, Keane said: "There seems to be (more to it).
"I just don't like that when a manager talks about his hip flexor. I don't get it.
"We talk about Ronaldo being almost some sort of machine. He's very rarely injured but then every now and then he comes out with that and says 'hip flex'.
"It doesn't add up to me."
Ronaldo wasn't the only notable absence from the matchday squad for the clash with Pep Guardiola's side.
Rangnick confirmed that Luke Shaw and Raphael Varane were both out after testing positive for Covid in midweek, while Edinson Cavani ruled himself out through injury.
Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford – where he made his name as a teenager and went on to become the world’s best player in 2008 – was much celebrated by United fans.
However his homecoming has been heavily scrutinised with the Red Devils going into the derby in fifth position in the Premier League.