Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford has conceded that surgery for his niggling shoulder complaint might need to take place immediately after the European Championships.
However, with his form suffering over the final weeks of the season, it seemed inevitable that surgery would be needed sooner rather than later.
Although he has a combination of shoulder, back and foot problems, the 23-year-old will concentrate on fixing the shoulder injury, making his participation in the opening weeks of the league season a doubt.
The England man said, “I have to decide after the tournament. It’s either an operation or I don’t get an operation. Probably my shoulder, but I’m not 100% sure that I need it yet.”
Rashford admitted that his focus on United and England has resulted in him not even asking for how long surgery would rule him out.
“I never bothered to ask the question. I am fully concentrated on here. When the tournament is over, then I will ask the question.”
It’s not the first time the England man has admitted to playing through injury. Back in May, he revealed that he was just one of many United stars who had spent much of the season playing through the pain barrier.
Immediately after the Europa League Final defeat to Villareal he said, “I could walk into the dressing room, I could show you five, six, seven players, and me as well, who had injuries here…from the beginning of the season…we fought to be successful for the club.”
It’s admirable, if slightly alarming, stuff. Modern-day footballers get all sorts of criticism for not being made of the same stern stuff as their grizzled forbears but there needs to be a balance between resilience and player welfare.
Sadly, the club’s failure to fully invest in the first team squad has left Solskjaer with little option other than to run players like Rashford and Bruno Fernandes into the ground in pursuit of silverware.
Stakes are high and taking risks is understandable, but a club of United’s standing should have two players of similarly high quality for each position.
That simply hasn’t been the case for far too long and those failings are writ large in the weary grimace of every burnt-out United star currently limping their way through the Euros.
Hopefully Rashford’s glass-half-full perspective is realised and a decent break is enough to get him fit and firing ahead of another gruelling season