The Brazilian was ruled out for four weeks with a hamstring strain following the FA Community Shield win over Wigan Athletic in early August and his recovery has unfortunately not been swift enough to permit his return at Anfield – where he scored a sublime goal last term.
However, on a more positive note, Jonny Evans is available after playing a full match last Friday with the Under-21s, as one of the permitted overage players, while Nani and Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez are also in contention after making good progress at the Aon Training Complex.
Speaking to MUTV on Friday, Moyes explained: “To be fair, we have got very few injuries, only Rafa really. Jonny got a game, which we felt he needed because he had missed a bit of pre-season, coming in and out at different times.
“Nani has done more training and is getting closer to it, Chicharito has had a hamstring but he has trained for the last three or four days and is doing much better. So we are very close to full strength. Maybe it is only Rafa who is a doubt.”