Henrikh Mkhitaryan is set to be sidelined for Manchester United’s next three games after aggravating his thigh injury against Man City in the derby on Saturday, The Times reports.
The Armenian midfielder returned from international duty early after suffering an injury against Czech Republic and was considered a doubt before the game but surprised fans after he was included in the starting XI by Jose Mourinho.
Unfortunately it was painfully obvious Mkhitaryan wasn’t fit and he was taken off after 45 minutes but playing that first half has clearly done more damage than good, meaning he’ll be missing for our games against Feyenoord, Watford and Northampton.
Speaking about Mkhitaryan, The Times wrote: “Subsequent scans have revealed that Mkhitaryan aggravated the injury in the defeat and he is now expected to be out for ten days. That means he is set to miss tomorrow’s Europa League group game away to Feyenoord, Saturday’s trip to face Watford in the league and the EFL Cup game away to Northampton Town a week today.”
It’s been a far from rosy start at United for Mkhitaryan and it mirrors how his career began at Dortmund. After a semi promising pre-season, injuries curtailed his first year at the German club so much so that it took him another year of settling in to really announce himself in the 2015/16 season. United fans are certainly hoping history doesn’t repeat itself in that respect.
The good thing as far as United are concerned is that we aren’t heavily reliant on Mkhitaryan at the moment and have other options we can play instead of him. It could mean we get to see Marcus Rashford playing on the wing a bit more to offer that injection of pace or Jesse Lingard, Ashley Young and Memphis Depay could all step in as well.
We’ve got plenty of games left to play this season but it has been a frustrating start for Mkhitaryan in Manchester. At least he’s been through this before and knows how to handle it mentally and here’s hoping he’ll be fully fit by the time October comes around.