Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reveals Marcus Rashford is ‘out for another few months’ and could MISS Euro 2020 with troublesome back injury… while £89m midfielder Paul Pogba is ‘not anywhere near’ return to training
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that Marcus Rashford will be out ‘for another few months’ with the back injury that now jeopardises his chances of playing for England at Euro 2020.
United’s top scorer has not played for more than a month after it was revealed that he has suffered a double stress fracture in his back.
Solskjaer initially predicted that Rashford would be out for a few weeks but the prognosis worsened after the player had scans, and there is now a possibility that he will not play again this season – casting doubt over his participation at the Euros.
Marcus Rashford suffered a long-term injury to deal a huge blow to Manchester United
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer intimated that Rashford may not feature again this season for United
‘I would hope he’s playing this season but it will just be touch and go towards the end,’ said Solskjaer ahead of the Europa League tie in Bruges on Thursday night.
‘Hopefully we get through this tournament and prolong the season. It takes time.
‘I’m not a doctor but I was hoping he would recover quicker. It actually looks like he’s going to be out for another few months definitely.’
Rashford is still out ‘for another few months’ and could be forced to skip Euro 2020 for England
Asked about Euro 2020, Solskjaer added: ‘Well, I would hope he plays before then but if he’s not fit enough he won’t go.’
‘He had a scan and it was maybe more severe, that fracture, than what we hoped for and expected. He felt fine the few days before that.
‘I’ve never done anatomy in school so I didn’t know it takes that time to recover, but when it heals he’ll be stronger for it – it’s important we won’t rush him.’
There was more bad injury news for United after Solskjaer confirmed that Paul Pogba is still a long way off returning to action. The Frenchman has only played twice since September following ankle surgery and is not expected to resume light training for another couple of weeks at least.
The United boss added: ‘He’s not been part of team training yet and it will depend on how he feels when he’s ready to do that. He’s not anywhere near that yet.’
United have signed Odion Ighalo on loan until the end of the season to fill the void left by Rashford, and Solskjaer is considering giving the Nigerian his full debut in Belgium after seeing him settle in well at the club.
Paul Pogba has been working hard on his fitness but is not close to training, Solskjaer insisted
The midfielder’s future at Old Trafford remains uncertain with talk of a summer transfer rife
Ighalo missed United’s warm-weather training camp in Marbella amid the coronavirus alert after he signed from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, but he came on as a substitute in Monday’s win at Chelsea.
‘I’m not going to tell you the team today but we’re going to have to rotate with all the games coming up and he’s one that could start. We’ve not made a decision yet,’ said Solskjaer.
‘Odion is a different type of striker for us. He’s a box striker, a goal scorer. We’ve seen him training and he knows his craft, how to train as a centre-forward. He’s a fantastic professional and human being, and already added to the squad.
‘The boys have taken to him. I hope he’s going to sharpen up quickly. He’s been out of season and needs to do a little bit extra after training. We try to give him as much game time as possible. He had a good chance at Chelsea but I’m sure he will take his chances.’
Solskjaer is unhappy that United were made to play Chelsea on Monday just three days before their round of 32 knockout tie in Bruges, but backed his players to handle the situation.
Odion Ighalo, signed on loan to fill the void of Rashford, could get his full debut in Belgium
‘Of course, it does have a big impact because two days recovery is not a lot,’ he said.
‘We had two weeks to prepare for this spell and we’ll have seven games in 21 days, starting Monday and ending Sunday against City – a game every three days.
‘But we have a big squad and we’ve travelled with 19. I have to make use of the squad I’ve got. You would want a game on Saturday before the Thursday.
‘We had 16 days off but we can’t complain, it is what it is. I just mentioned it because it’s not the best of preparation but these boys are brilliant. They are young and fresh, and recover quickly.’