Queens Park Rangers boss Mark Hughes has confirmed that Joey Barton did not play at Manchester United because he could not trust him not to get booked.
The QPR skipper is currently on nine bookings for the season and one more yellow card would result in an automatic two-match ban.
Rather than risk him getting booked during their clash at Old Trafford, Hughes admits he would rather he was available for the next game with Swansea on Wednesday.
"Joey is on nine bookings and we didn't want him to miss key games that we have coming up in the week," said Hughes.
"So I took the decision not to put him at risk. After the weekend the situation with suspensions is over so he can have a clear run with the matches ahead of us."
Bobby Zamora was on the bench for the game at United, but he confirmed that was due to illness.
Hughes said: "He's been under the weather all week."
Meanwhile, Hughes has welcomed midfielder Alejandro Faurlin back to the club as he continues his rehabilitation from the cruciate knee injury he suffered in January which has ruled him out of the rest of the season.
"It was good to see him," said Hughes. "He is progressing well.
"He will probably go back to Spain for another week next week but after that he will do his rehab here."