The Swede accepted an FA charge of violent conduct following his elbow on AFC Bournemouth’s Tyrone Mings last weekend and will serve a three match ban.
Man United’s first game without their talismanic No.9 comes against Chelsea in an FA Cup quarter final at Stamford Bridge on Monday night.
And Blind, speaking earlier this week, has made it clear that other attacking players will need to stand up in the 35-year-old’s absence.
“Zlatan is of course a very important player for us,” he said.
“Other players have to stand up, that’s how it is. I think you make players better as well if there’s more competition in the group.
“So if there’s rotation at this level it only makes the team stronger and stronger. I think that’s why we can cope with every game.”
Zlatan has claimed a mammoth total of 26 goals so far this season. His closest competitor? Juan Mata with nine goals. His domination of the scoresheet has been nothing short of relentless. In fact, the Swede accounts for 33% of the goals scored by United this season – a sensational achievement, yes, but also a stark reminder of a serious lack of goalscoring potency elsewhere in the squad.
Supporters will bemoan the Swede’s absence over the next three games, but this could be an important opportunity for United to find a way to win without Zlatan’s presence.