Louis van Gaal has confirmed Manchester United’s injury list is shorter than it ever has been before ahead of the club’s Monday night encounter against West Bromwich Albion.
At one time this season Van Gaal had as many as 11 injuries to contend with but the manager confirmed in his pre-match press conference that the number is now down to four.
The manager didn’t confirm who the four remaining names are but by process of elimination it seems Jesse Lingard, Patrick McNair, Jonny Evans and Antonio Valencia are the men still on the sidelines, with the Ecuadorian picking up a hamstring injury against Everton two weeks ago.
It means there’s a timely return to fitness for the likes of Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Ander Herrera ahead of crunch games against Chelsea and Manchester City as well as the return of long-term absentee Michael Carrick.
Carrick picked up an injury at the same time as van Gaal arrived at the club and is yet to appear for United so far this season.
Van Gaal has struggled to hold down a settled defence this season with youngster McNair joining Marcos Rojo in the centre of defence for the last two games but the return of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling brings added depth and a chance for the manager to hopefully pair together his strongest pairing with Rafael and Luke Shaw making up the rest of the defence on Monday night.