It’s an open secret Victor Lindelof has been dealing with an injury all season.
Lindelof has a back problem which troubled him way back in September’s international games for Sweden, although he cites this particular issue as going back just a couple of months.
Unfortunately it hasn’t gone away. Lindelof has been speaking about it and says his back is still troubling him.
Lindelof told the club website: “I’ve been struggling a bit with my back. I’ve been having it for the last couple of months.
“I missed a few games as well and I am just trying to manage it in a good way.
“If I’m sore for a few days after it or in a bit of discomfort, that’s not a problem if the team wins. That’s the most important thing and I just want to be out there to help the team.”
It’s unusual to see a player speaking so openly about an injury like this.
Lindelof is downplaying his injury a little, because this has been ongoing all season. He missed the fateful away trip to Istanbul Basaksehir due to injury.
United will be constantly monitoring it, but it is a worry that (a) he could aggravate it further, and (b) he will deliver sub-par performances on the pitch because of it.
Both of these concerns should prompt United to give more chances to Eric Bailly, who has outperformed Lindelof this season when given opportunities.
Bailly has a history of injuries too, which means the club don’t want to push him too much. ESPN report United want Bailly to prove his fitness before offering him a new contract.
Axel Tuanzebe is the fourth man, and it should be a concern to him that he can’t get chances in central defence ahead of a patched-up Lindelof.
If there was nothing to play for this season, then United may consider shutting Lindelof down and resting him. As it stands, there are still two cup competitions and a battle for second place and the top four.
Perhaps in the last few games of the campaign United will be able to rest Lindelof, if we are in a strong position.
One extra concern is that Lindelof will play at Euro 2021 and he won’t get the rest he needs.
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