Henderson says he and Rashford have benefited from time out of the side

Dean Henderson says Marcus Rashford is looking sharp as he nears a return from injury for Manchester United.

It has been reported that United have organised a friendly today to help Rashford step up his recovery.

Henderson is not away with England and has also apparently been pencilled in to start the game.

And Henderson commented on his own break from action, enforced by Covid in pre-season, and Rashford’s in an interview with the club website.

Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

RONALDO NEEDS TO STOP WHINING.

“You know what? It’s funny because he looks so sharp since he’s come back from his shoulder injury and everything from last season,” said Henderson. “I think he was carrying a few knocks. 

“So for him to come back, he looks back to his best and I’m really excited to see him out there. He is going to help the team a lot.”

“I think he got obviously thrown in at a young age and didn’t really get a break mentally to switch off. And I think it’s given him time to do this. He will be hungrier than ever to get back out there and play again.

“I do honestly think, sometimes, that a break is great. It’s helped me this summer and I’m sure it’s helped him. I think he’ll come back better than ever.”

Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Exactly what United wanted

What Henderson has explained there is the whole point of Rashford taking some time out of the side to get the issue sorted.

He had been playing through pain for a long time for both club and country.

By the end of last season, Rashford looked exhausted and a long way from the player we know he can be because he couldn’t sprint or really compete in hugely physical challenges.

The time out of the side was needed to allow him to fully recover and come back at full pelt.

United now have more attacking options so Rashford shouldn’t be played to the point of exhaustion now he’s back either.

As for Henderson, he’s been grinding for a long time, on loan spells, to try and show he can make it at United.

He played for United and England last season before an injury kept him out of Euro 2020.

So that time to reset and recover has seemingly been valuable for him too. He’ll need the energy to go again and challenge David de Gea, who has gone back to his best this season.

Having both men back at their peak will be a boost for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, only serving to increase competition in his squad.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.