Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has defended Manchester United’s handling of Marcus Rashford after the England striker was ruled out for up to three months with a double stress fracture in his back.
There are fears that Rashford, who will also have surgery to remove floating bone in his ankle, could be out of action for even longer.
United knew about Rashford’s back problem – the England striker brings a Melmak fracture healing machine to games – but he has made more appearances than any other player at the club this season.
Having taken the 22-year-old off as a precaution against Norwich 10 days ago, Solskjaer played Rashford off the bench in the FA Cup win over Wolves four days later but he only lasted before 16 minutes before hurting his back again in a challenge with Matt Doherty.
However, Solskjaer insisted that is a fresh problem, saying: ‘He’s not had that injury before, no. He complained a little bit after Burnley, he felt it the first time, and we managed him as well as we could then.
‘He had some days off for treatment, was taken off in games and suddenly this was a new injury. He didn’t have any injuries before then.
‘He will be out for a while and he’ll get the time he needs to recover. He’s a positive guy and he knows this is not what he wanted but he’s always positive.
‘He wants to get back as quickly and safely as possible and we’ll give him that time. When he feels ready and medically cleared he’ll be back.’
Solskjaer has said that he will look at bringing in a short-term replacement in the January transfer window but added: ‘We’re always looking at improving the squad and seeing if there’s anything out there but nothing I can talk about now.
‘You’re never 100 per cent sure something’s going to happen, until it happens so we’ll update you.’