Van Gaal: Smalling is out for two weeks

by Sam Peoples

Louis van Gaal has confirmed Chris Smalling‘s groin tear will only rule him out of action for two weeks.

That means Smalling could potentially return for United for this year’s Boxing Day fixture against Newcastle United.

The defender picked up the injury during Manchester United’s game against Southampton on Monday and reports during the week suggested he would face two weeks out and that has proved to be the case.

For Smalling, it was a terribly timed injury as he had been earning praise after some consistent performances since returning from his suspension. For United, it was badly timed because alongside Marcos Rojo, Smalling had developed the beginning of what looked like a good potential partnership in defence.

In his absence, Jonny Evans is expected to step into his position and a game against Liverpool will be a very tough fixture for him to come back into from the start but with Phil Jones also injured, Van Gaal doesn’t have many options.

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