Manchester United’s troubled season had another deterioration when they slipped into a 2-0 defeat in Liverpool and faced Marcus Rashford’s loss for two or three months.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær reported that Rashford had suffered a stress fracture in his back after suffering a severe blow in the England Cup 1-0 victory against Wolves at Old Trafford last Wednesday. The manager of United called him “a bad injury”.
Rashford’s injury has clear implications for the English manager, Gareth Southgate, who is preparing for the Euro 2020 finals starting in June. Southgate has already lost one of its other main attackers, Captain Harry Kane, due to a severe knee tendon injury.
Kane is out until mid-April, at best, but his manager at Tottenham, José Mourinho, has suggested losing the rest of the season. England play warm-up matches against Italy and Denmark in late March.
Solskjaer stated in his pre-match interview with Anfield that Rashford had “aggravated his back [against Wolves]; He has had problems [there] before ”and it was easy to question his decision to introduce Rashford against the Wolves, which he did when the score was 0-0, although hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Solskjaer insisted that Rashford hadn’t brought the stress fracture before the Wolves game and that it was the result of Matt Doherty’s challenge. He seemed to confirm that Rashford had a double fracture and had ruled it out for a minimum of six weeks, but added that after this the player would need “some recovery or rehabilitation”.
Solskjaer said: “Marcus suffered a stress fracture against Wolverhampton. I don’t know how long he’ll stay out. We will give him enough time to heal. It usually takes six weeks for you to start slightly, probably, and then it will take time to get back in shape. “
Solskjaer was asked if Rashford had had one of the fractures before the Wolves responded. “No,” he replied. “It happened, both of us … I don’t want to go into too much detail, but it happened in that game. We have to do business without him for a while. It was absolutely fantastic all season. We had a similar spell with Anthony Martial out for eight weeks and Mason Greenwood has had a few more games, he has more experience. We just have to deal with it. “
United want to make additions during the transfer window and are trying to close an agreement for Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes, among others. Solskjaer has long-term injuries to other key players, namely Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay.
“The permanent signatures we’re looking for – the goals won’t change because we’ve hurt two or three players in the coming months,” said Solskjaer. “There may be some short-term offers we have to make. But today it’s not about the transfer window, it can’t be. We just had a game against the best team in the country.”
Jürgen Klopp hailed the victory of his team, which ended with the Kop singing for winning the championship. “Everyone should celebrate the situation, apart from us and we have no problems with this,” he said. “All the boys played an exceptional game. It’s a wonderful performance against an opponent with United quality, which made it difficult. “