French sensational and Manchester United forward Anthony Martial and England’s Jesse Lingard have handed Manchester United a major injury boost with both poised to return earlier than expected.
Caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ruled the pair out for “two to three weeks” after they were both injured during United’s 2-0 Champions League defeat to Paris St Germain at Trafford in a UEFA last 16 match clash.
But it is understood the injuries – a groin problem for Martial and a hamstring issue for Lingard – are not as bad as first thought and both are set to return to action sooner than Solskjaer suggested.
United sources believe one or both forwards, who have been key to the recent revival under Solskjaer, could even return for next Sunday’s huge Premier League showdown with arch rivals and title contenders Liverpool at Old Trafford.
That would be a major boost for Solskjaer and United, who are desperate to beat Liverpool at Old Trafford to dent the Merseyside club’s hopes of a first title for 29 years and boost their own chances of securing a top-four place in the process.
Martial and Lingard suffered their injuries towards the end of the first-half against PSG, their enforced withdrawal a major factor in United’s defeat, which has left them facing a Champions League last 16 exit for the second year running.
Both are ruled out of the FA Cup fifth found tie at Chelsea, with struggling Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku set to come in for them, but there is hope that one or both will have recovered sufficiently to face Jurgen Klopp’s side, in what could prove to be a defining game in the title race.