Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal hinted that Angel Di Maria and David De Gea will be fit for Saturday’s Premier League clash with Arsenal, but rules Daley Blind out, due to an injury sustained while on duty for the Netherlands.
Blind picked up a knee injury after 20 minutes of Holland’s 6-0 win over Latvia last Sunday. Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Thursday, the Dutch boss confirmed that the midfield enforcer will have another scan in the coming days to ascertain the extent of damage.
He said: “Blind is not ready to play. He has now a brace on his knee, 10 days’ rest, then we have to make another scan and we can say more about his injury. It’s not so bad as the doctors are thinking after the match, but it shall be a long story, I believe, but not six months or something.”
The summer signing from Ajax is just one of five United players who picked up injuries during the international break.
The good news for the fans is that Di Maria, De Gea and Michael Carrick could play a part against the ‘Gunners.’
De Gea dislocated his finger while training with La Roja ahead of their Euro 2016 qualifier against Belarus. Di Maria took a kick to the ankle during Argentina’s 1-0 defeat by Portugal. Carrick left the England camp with a groin problem and will be assessed in Friday’s training.
“Di Maria has trained today normally so I don’t think that is a question mark,” assured Van Gaal. “David De Gea is good, no problem. I think Michael Carrick I have to wait for the reactions tomorrow in the training session, but I expect also that he’s ready to play.”
Left-back Luke Shaw took a knock while with England in a 3-1 win over Scotland in the midweek and the 63-year-old admitted “he is a question mark.”
Van Gaal has had to deal with other injury concerns prior to the international break. He told MUTV defenders Rafael and Phil Jones are unavailable for selection at the Emirate Stadium. Jonny Evans and Marcos Rojo will definitely not play any part in the weekend. Long-term absentees Ashley Young and Jesse Lingard are both still sidelined.
On the likelihood of having some of the injured players back in time for Arsenal, he explained: “It’s difficult to say if anyone is back because we have to wait for tomorrow’s training session to decide if players are coming back. But the players are not coming back in the squad – that’s a different thing. But if you see our circumstances, we maybe have to bring players back to the squad early because of the circumstances.”
Van Gaal also confirmed that on loan striker Radamel Falcao, who has missed the last three games with a calf injury, will return to full training with the first team on Sunday.