Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has indicated that Kobbie Mainoo is not yet ready to feature against Sheffield United on Saturday, but the midfielder is not far from making a sensational return to action.
Mainoo was undoubtedly United’s breakout star of pre-season before he sustained an unfortunate ankle injury during United’s clash against Real Madrid that has kept him out since late July.
A recent report covered by The Peoples Person revealed that Mainoo played in a behind-closed-door friendly against Barnsley during the international break.
It was relayed that he “looked sharp.”
Ahead of his side’s game vs. Sheffield at Bramall Lane, Ten Hag was asked about Mainoo’s availability. He said, “He [Mainoo] is close. He’s already training with us. Not today, but I think next week he will have some minutes in the team so then he can catch up his game minutes. And so yeah, he’s really improving and ready to get back in the squad for games.”
The United boss gave further injury updates on the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Shaw.
He explained that Wan-Bissaka is not far from coming back into the team but Shaw is likely to be unavailable in the upcoming “block of games,” – possibly suggesting that the English left-back may not recover before the November international break.
Ten Hag added, “If you can’t use, every time, the same players, you can’t bring in the routines. Some routines slipped away in the last weeks and, yeah, that had a bad effect on the results.”
“I never use it as an excuse. We still have a good squad, we still have to win.”
On Casemiro, the Dutch coach mentioned that the Brazil international suffered a “small injury” while playing for the Selecao, but confirmed it’s nothing serious and the 31-year-old is on track to feature in the next Premier League clash against Manchester City at Old Trafford on October 29.
When put to task about whether he was unhappy Casemiro was selected in Brazil’s starting XI to face Uruguay while there were major doubts about his fitness, Ten Hag remarked, “You can’t be. That is the rule. He’s playing for a nation and he’s playing for us. And we all understand that Casemiro is a soldier and he is available for every game. So he will always give his best, for his nation and for Manchester United.”
Another matter that came to the fore during Ten Hag’s presser was the ongoing partial investment of Sir Jim Ratcliffe into the club.
Ten Hag pointed out that United co-chairman Joel Glazer has so far kept him in the dark about the ongoing process.