55 and counting – Rafael and Luke Shaw add to Louis van Gaal's incredible injury list
Rafael suffers suspected broken cheekbone and Luke Shaw picks up ankle problem in 2-0 FA Cup win against Yeovil
Rafael (suspected broken cheekbone) and Luke Shaw (ankle) on Sunday suffered Manchester United’s 54th and 55th separate injuries since Louis van Gaal’s first day in charge last July
Jonny Evans admitted last month that players were ‘expecting’ to get injured and an astonishing 26 have visited the treatment table since the start of the season.
Amazingly, Van Gaal has fielded 37 players in all competitions as a result of the injury crisis, with the likes of Angel Di Maria, Daley Blind and Radamel Falcao all missing a sizeable chunk of the season.
The club’s injury problems were underlined last month when Van Gaal named an unchaged United side for the game with Tottenham - the first time in two years either he, Sir Alex Ferguson or David Moyes has done so.
The problems have been particularly acute in defence, with no recognised defender starting more than half of the club’s 20 league games so far.
Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Michael Carrick have all had to fill in as Van Gaal has shuffled his pack to cope with the mounting injury crisis.
Only four players - David de Gea, Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Juan Mata - have started 15 or more Premier League matches so far this season as the club have suffered injuries on an unprecedented scale with eight players now on the sidelines.