Solskjaer would be smart not to rush Cavani back against Sheffield United

Edinson Cavani has sat out Manchester United’s last two matches because of injury.

That meant Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was asked about the summer signing’s fitness at his pre-match press conference.

As per the club’s official website, Solskjaer said: “Edinson has done well in his rehab, but we’re still going to make a decision on whether we should risk him.

Because it is a risk, it’s a little bit too early. I doubt he’ll be available for me to pick him tomorrow.

Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Reading between the lines, Solskjaer’s comments indicate Cavani won’t be starting. He might be on the bench at the very most.

He’s clearly keen not to rush Cavani back and that’s the right call given the frantic run of games United have got coming up.

Solskjaer spoke about United’s hectic schedule today too. “We have to be mindful of little strains & niggles and decisions have to be made.

“From the kick-off of Sheffield United to kick-off of (Aston Villa) it’s 15 x 24 hours, so it’s going to be very tight.”

In that time, United have six games, which is staggering. Every player will need to be managed carefully, but none moreso than Cavani.

Robin Jones/Getty Images

He’s 33 now, after all. He needs to recover properly from this injury before being thrust into the busy festive period.

On top of that, he didn’t have a pre-season and it’s his first campaign in English football – he hasn’t experienced the crazy demands the Premier League puts on players over Christmas yet.

United should have enough to see off Sheffield United without Cavani, given Chris Wilder’s side are winless and bottom of the division.

Sunday’s clash with Leeds is one where Cavani might be needed. If he does play there, he’ll need to be at 100 per cent fitness. It’ll be a tough, physical game.

Solskjaer looks as if he’s made a smart decision in not rushing Cavani back. Looking at the big picture, it wouldn’t be worth it.

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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.