Rafael’s season for Manchester United is over as the Brazilian has cracked three ribs after being kneed in a collision playing for the U21s against Leicester City this week.
The 24-year-old looked in a lot of discomfort on the pitch and had to go straight down the tunnel after he was substituted, so it comes as no surprise to hear the news about his injury but it is more severe than most would have expected.
It compounds what has been a miserable season for Rafael. Right from the start of the year he has been plagued by injuries and Louis van Gaal‘s preference to use Antonio Valencia in the right-back position over Rafael, both of which have kept his first-team opportunities very limited.
This cracked rib injury is a particularly painful blow for Rafael because with only a few games left this year, it more than likely means he will miss the rest of the season and there is a real chance he may well have played his last game in a Man United shirt as he faces an uncertain future.
Van Gaal’s preference for Valencia and the fact he is likely to bring in a new right-back in the summer are both bad signs for Rafael and his last chance to show United’s boss he should be kept in the squad has seemingly been taken away from him with this latest injury.