Manchester United injury list: Rafael Da Silva could play in a mask against Southampton

Brazilian defender underwent surgery for a fractured cheekbone

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The Independent Football

Manchester United defender Rafael Da Silva has handed Louis van Gaal an injury boost after suggesting he could wear a mask in next Sunday's match against Southampton.

The Brazilian defender fractured his cheekbone in the FA Cup win at Yeovil on Sunday but underwent an operation on Tuesday night.

Posting on both Instagram and Twitter, the right-back said he will be back in training on Friday wearing a mask.

He posted a photo on a hospital bed with the caption: "Operation was perfect back training normal with mask on Friday very happy."

With Luke Shaw also injured at Huish Park, Louis van Gaal was facing another defensive crisis, especially at wing-back, with Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia, Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind still having problems.

Van Gaal was full of praise for Rafael after the Yeovil win stating: "It was fantastic that he had the guts that he could play through but I had to change him.

"He has a fantastic mentality Rafa, he is unbelievable."