Erik ten Hag issues four positive Man Utd injury updates but ’setback‘ derails FA Cup plan | Football | Sport

Erik ten Hag provided positive fitness updates on four of his Manchester United players on Thursday. The Red Devils have struggled with injuries this season, particularly in defensive areas, but are now welcoming back key players with two crunch fixtures to end the season.

Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof have all spent lengthy spells on the sidelines in recent months. Harry Maguire was added to the injury list earlier in May.

Martinez returned to the matchday squad for United’s Premier League victory over Newcastle on Wednesday. He played the final 10 minutes, as did Marcus Rashford who was returning from injury.

Meanwhile, Varane and Lindelof have returned to full training and will be assessed ahead of Sunday’s match against Brighton. “We see yesterday, Licha Martinez is back. He had a good session today as well,” Ten Hag said.

“There were also others on the pitch, like Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof. They returned on the pitch. We will have to see how far they are on Sunday. Tomorrow we have off, Saturday we have training. We will see what we have.“

Ten Hag also confirmed that Maguire has a “fair chance” of being available for the FA Cup final showdown with Manchester City. However, a setback to Luke Shaw has blown apart his manager’s wish to have a fully fit defence to face City on May 25.

A muscle injury has kept Shaw out since February. “Luke is more complicated in this moment,” Ten Hag continued.

“Let’s say there’s less of a chance he will make it but still a very small chance. He had a setback, now we have to find out how far it is.”

Meanwhile, Ten Hag brushed off an altercation between Rashford and a supporter during the warm-up before the Newcastle match. The forward was seen arguing with a fan before his team-mates intervened and led him away.

Ten Hag, who addressed Old Trafford after the 3-2 triumph with a rousing speech, said of the support: „I saw yesterday, I felt the fans, they were all very positive about the mood, spirit and ambiance in the stadium. That is very good and it shows the strong bond between the team and the fans.“

United face Brighton on Sunday with a place in Europe on the line. They are eighth in the table, level on points with seventh-placed Newcastle. However, Ten Hag’s side can automatically qualify for the Europa League by winning the FA Cup.

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