Louis van Gaal confirmed this afternoon that the amount of players on the Manchester United injury list is down to six ahead of Sunday’s clash with Leicester City.
The list had been as long as a full 11 at times during August but it appears things are finally settling down, with Chris Smalling the latest to return from injury.
The England centre-back had started United’s first three games but sat out the 4-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers due to a knock which allowed Jonny Evans to step in alongside Tyler Blackett.
Marouane Fellaini, Jesse Lingard, James Wilson, Ashley Young and Sam Johnstone remain injured but with none of them currently in favour for a spot in the first XI, the progress of Michael Carrick and Phil Jones is more of a concern.
Carrick has begun training again after a lengthy lay-off which ruled him out of the start of the season whilst Jones should return in around a fortnight after picking up a hamstring injury on international duty with England.
The return of Smalling, Rafael and the available duo of Marcos Rojo and Luke Shaw finally gives Van Gaal realistic rotation options at the back but it seems unlikely the manager will return to a back three this weekend.
It’s interesting to hear how Van Gaal said there were six players currently injured as it would indicate that Sam Johnstone is not part of his plans at all, which is not too much of a surprise given that he was not part of United’s first-team squad this season.