Manchester United have had some key injury issues this season that have made an already disappointing start even worse. Ahead of their match against FC Copenhagen in the Danish capital, United manager Erik ten Hag gave an update on two players who have missed plenty of action already this season.
South American duo Casemiro and Lisandro Martinez are both out, and neither are closing in on a return at the moment. Martinez has been out since United’s September fixture against Bayern Munich in Champions League action, while Casemiro came off injured against Newcastle in a 3-0 defeat in the EFL Cup. Casemiro had already been sidelined this season after picking up a knock against Brentford.
Via The Athletic, Erik ten Hag explained that both players will not return for Christmas, and their timelines are still fairly uncertain.
"“I expect some back but for instance Casemiro and Martinez – that (they) are really strong injuries and I don’t expect them back before Christmas. It’s several weeks (for Casemiro). I have some time schedules, but it’s always difficult to prospect that because they can always be setbacks during a rehab period. I’m always a little bit [more likely] to hold back on such issues.” [from Carl Anka of The Athletic]"
Martinez’s injury, in particular, has forced Erik ten Hag into regularly playing Victor Lindelof, Jonny Evans and Harry Maguire. In fairness to Maguire, he has performed well this season and has silenced some of his critics. Nonetheless, a club of Manchester United’s stature has been playing a reasonably underwhelming defence, especially with Raphael Varane being injury-prone.
To back up Casemiro, Manchester United has Sofyan Amrabat and Scott McTominay available, who are now getting starts in the absence of the Brazilian veteran. While McTominay has shown flair for the dramatic offensively, he still leaves much to be desired on the defensive side.