Manouane Fellaini has now joined the growing injury list at Manchester United after suffering a suspected torn hamstring.
The midfielder eventually missed United’s last league outing which was a shock defeat at Sunderland last week after feeling some stiffness in his leg, and the Red Devils believed rest would ease the problem. But he was later sent to Brussels for a second scan, and the tests have now revealed a tear in his hamstring which is set to sideline him until the end of March.
It is the latest injury blow to struggling United manager Louis van Gaal who has already lost skipper Rooney for atleast due to a knee ligament damage.
That means, LVG now has 13 players out of action due to fitness issues, leaving the Dutchman with no choice but to call on a number of inexperienced young players for the first team.
He has as many as five youngsters in his team for today’s Europa League fixture in Denmark against FC Midtjylland, and he also will have to keep faith on them for the FA Cup match with Shrewsbury next week.
Some reports confirm, Fellaini visited Belgian national team physio Lieven Maeschalck on Wednesday in Brussels, and has now flown back to Manchester to start his rehabilitation program.
Van Gaal said yesterday “When I say injured players and I said 13. Fellaini is one of them who is injured.
“A muscle problem because had played a lot of matches in a row, and that’s difficult for him.”
United boss also has confirmed Borthwick-Jackson’s absence with injury, leaving his team missing 8 full-back options and facing the possibility of starting a pair of European debutants. He admitted: “He’s ill. It’s also possible to be ill and then you are not capable to play a game.
In the absence of skipper Rooney, Fellow academy graduate Will Keane would become a popular option for LVG as his potentiality continues to rise because of his goalscoring heroics for the Under-21 team. There may be another possibility of switching Anthony Martial to a more central role and relying on Memphis Depay on the flank.
The high number of players picking up injuries may force van Gaal and the club hierarchy to investigate, especially as the Dutch manager’s team also suffered a similar number of injury problems in the opening half of last season.