Manchester United will hope to see some of their absent players return after the international break after Paddy McNair added to their injury woes with the news that he has picked up a hamstring injury.
19-year-old McNair has made just two appearances for the Untied senior team having been drafted in for the 2-1 win over West Ham. Injuries to Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling meant that Northern Irishman McNair was called up by manager Louis van Gaal, and he was retained for the victory over Everton on Sunday afternoon.
However, having received his first call-up to Northern Ireland’s squad for the 2016 European Championships qualifiers against the Faroe Islands and Greece in place of Evans, McNair has had to pull out of the squad after suffering a hamstring injury that could rule him out for up to three weeks.
With United due to face West Brom on 20 October, McNair is likely to miss the match and will join a number of players on the sidelines. Van Gaal is already without the services of Evans, Jones and Smalling, although the latter two could return for the match at the Hawthorns.
Manchester United injury list
Manchester United injury list
1/5 Wayne Rooney
There is uncertainty over the extent of the Manchester United captain's injury, with fears he may have suffered ligament damage to his knee during the 3-0 defeat to Everton. Unlikely to feature against West Brom and could miss the rest of the season.
2/5 Michael Carrick
Having limped off in the 4-2 derby victory over Manchester City, it's uncertain if the England midfielder will fit for this weekend. Was unable to even make the bench for the defeat to Everton.
The right-back's return to action has suffered a set-back. After making a short appearance in the 3-0 win over Tottenham in March, the Brazilian has been pushing for full fitness. However he suffered a blow to the ribs in an Under-21 match against Leicester and could miss the rest of the season.
4/5 Marcos Rojo
Having missed the games against Chelsea and Everton due to a groin injury, the Argentina international is pushing for a return and could feature this weekend.
5/5 Phil Jones
Fellow defender Phil Jones also missed the defeats to Chelsea and Evertton but the England international has returned to training after a foot complaint and could play at against West Brom.
But Van Gaal is also without the likes of Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick and Ashley Young, while Marouane Fellaini only returned from injury in the win over his former side Everton with an appearance from the bench.
Northern Ireland head coach Michael O’Neill admitted that he was reluctant to rush McNair into the national team squad, but did concede that he was pleased to see him being given a chance in the United squad.
Speaking before the news of McNair’s injury broke, O’Neill said: “I want to make sure that when we bring Paddy in it’s right for Paddy as much as it’s right for us. He has played one game for United which is fantastic, but it’s a big jump and we have enough quality in defence at the moment.”
McNair has also impressed Van Gaal in his two appearances so far, and the Dutchman stressed that the returning first-team regulars will have to show enough to merit dislodging the teenager.
“I have to select them, do you understand?” said Van Gaal. “Paddy McNair is doing great in my opinion. Players coming back, I have to select them but I have better choice than no choice.”
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