Rashford could return from injury …for Manchester derby Oct. 2

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford could reportedly recover from a muscle injury in time to face rivals Manchester City in their next Premier League game after the international break.

The 25-year-old was withdrawn in the closing stages of United’s 3-1 victory at home to Arsenal earlier this month, a game in which the Englishman scored twice and provided an assist.

Rashford has since missed United’s last two games in the Europa League and has not been called up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad for this month’s UEFA Nations League fixtures against Italy and Germany.

Speaking before United’s 2-0 win away against Sheriff Tiraspol last Thursday, head coach Erik ten Hag suggested that Rashford will not be on the sidelines for a lengthy period of time.

“He’s not available. The consequence after Arsenal. He has a muscle injury,” the Dutchman told reporters. “No, I don’t think too long, but I cannot tell how long. It’s not really bad and we expect him to be back quite soon.”

According to ESPN, United are hopeful that Rashford will be fit to play in the Manchester derby on October 2.

The report adds that club medical staff believe his injury is not as serious as first feared and he could re-join first-team training as early as next week.

Rashford has made an impressive start to the 2022-23 campaign, scoring three goals and registering two assists in his opening six Premier League games.

The 46-cap England international will be hoping to pick up where he left off when he returns to full fitness, as he bids to work his way back into Southgate’s squad ahead of the World Cup later this year.

While United are optimistic about Rashford’s chances of a speedy recovery, they are allegedly concerned about Anthony Martial’s Achilles injury and they are giving the Frenchman plenty of time to recover fully from what has been described as a “problematic” injury by expert Ben Dinnery.

Dinnery told reporters via the Daily Mirror: “[An Achilles injury] does affect flexibility and strength. It’s a very painful condition. With the type of player [Martial] is, with explosive, quick movements, you understand the potential ramifications of having decreased flexibility over the first five to 10 yards.

“Hopefully, a reduction in load will help facilitate a quicker return to play, but that isn’t always the case, You are beholden to the tendon. The international break gives us a two-week period to hopefully see him come back after that. If it stretches beyond that, it can be a bit of a concern.”

Martial has made only one appearance for United so far this season, coming off the substitutes’ bench at half time in their 2-1 victory at home to Liverpool at the end of August.

Should both Rashford and Martial miss the Manchester derby next month, Cristiano Ronaldo could be in line for a third successive start in attack. – Sports Mole

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