Manchester United have been dealt a huge blow with defender Eric Bailly set to be out for far longer than initially anticipated.
After picking up an injury in the Reds’ 1-0 loss against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on November 5, Bailly has been out of action. His groin injury could now keep him out until the New Year, according to the Sun.
The Ivorian, who is Man United’s first choice centre-back, will reportedly miss up to eight weeks further with this groin issue.
If Bailly is to return against Tottenham Hotspur at the end of January, the next game against a top six side for United, he will miss fixtures against: AFC Bournemouth, West Brom, Bristol City, Leicester City, Burnley (twice), Southampton, Everton, Derby County and Stoke City.
That is being pessimistic. Hopefully, Bailly will return before then, but that would mean the 23-year-old would miss a total of 17 games. For United’s best defender, that is a terrible blow to the Reds’ chances in the Premier League, domestic cups and UEFA Champions League.
It is also during the busiest two months of the season, December and January. Thankfully, Argentinian defender Marcos Rojo has recently returned from serious knee ligament damage that he suffered in April.
Summer signing from Benfica, 22-year-old Victor Lindelof has started coming into his own in recent weeks. But Phil Jones has also only just returned from injury.
United’s defence isn’t reliable on the injury front. Jose Mourinho has had tough luck with injuries this season, losing Paul Pogba for two months with a muscle problem as he missed vital clashes against Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.
Marouane Fellaini was out for an extended period of time after an injury on international duty, a fate which Jones also suffered.