Wednesday 9 December 2015

Crippling United injury list stretching us to the limit

Injuries are a part of football but surely we have to be the unluckiest team out there with an casualty list as long as your arm that has forced LVG to turn to youth to bolster his depleted side. 

In all my years as a United fan, I don't think I can remember the squad being as stretched as it is now through nine different first team injuries.

Defenders Matteo Darmian and Chris Smalling joined the ever-lengthening injury list after picking up knocks during the defeat in Wolfsburg on Tuesday night.

Darmian was forced off just before the break with a hamstring issue and Smalling- an ever present this season- suffered a groin strain late on.
The makeshift  Reds had made all three substitutions by that point and with the in-form centre-back struggling for movement, Van Gaal was forced to move him up front and drop substitute Michael Carrick into the back four. 

Speaking after the game, Van Gaal admitted that the initial prognosis for both Darmian and Smalling did not look positive.

"Matteo Darmian has a hamstring injury and Smalling a groin injury and Smalling could not jump at the moment of the set pieces and Wolfsburg's third goal was also because of that.
"He had to give the defensive responsibility to another player and then it is also very difficult because it is a question of communication and quality.
"Naldo scored twice and we knew in advance that he was a very big danger for them."

It is unclear if Darmian and Smalling will be fit for Saturday's tea-time kick off at newly promoted Bournemouth but the chances of them making the match would appear unlikely. 

The injured pair joins Luke Shaw (broken leg), Antonio Valencia (ankle/foot), Phil Jones (ankle), Ander Herrera (hamstring), Wayne Rooney (ankle), Marcos Rojo (shoulder) and Morgan Schneiderlin (hip/thigh). 

Van Gaal will provide an update on all his injured players in his pre-match Bournemouth press conference on Friday. 

Be sure to check out our preview for that game here on United Faithful


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