Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed Edwin van der Sar is on compassionate leave after the Manchester United goalkeeper's wife suffered a brain haemorrhage.
Van der Sar has been back in his native Netherlands to receive treatment on a knee injury from the Holland team doctor over the Christmas period.
However, the veteran shot-stopper's wife Annemarie van Kesteren was taken to hospital last Wednesday after collapsing at home.
United boss Ferguson says there is no need for Van der Sar, who has yet to decide whether to retire at the end of the season, to return to the club until his wife's condition improves.
Ferguson said: "Annemarie had a problem over in Holland a week ago and has been admitted to hospital.
"That is the best place for her to be. They have examined her twice and are trying to get to the root of it.
"I have told Edwin to stay over there. There is no point in him being here.
"The best thing is for him to be with his wife. Hopefully she will make a good recovery."
During Van der Sar's recent absence from the United team due to his knee injury, Ferguson has preferred Tomasz Kuszczak in goal ahead of Ben Foster.