Thursday 22 February 2018

Manchester United star ruled out for rest of the season

Manchester United's Rafael is out for the season
Manchester United's Rafael is out for the season

Paul Hirst

Manchester United right-back Rafael will miss the rest of the season with a rib injury, manager Louis van Gaal has said.

Rafael came off during an Under-21 game against Leicester on Monday after an aerial collision with Anthony Knockaert.

And Van Gaal told MUTV on Friday that the player will miss the final five games of the campaign.

Van Gaal said of the setback: "It's unbelievable.

"He has broken his ribs so he shall not play any more this season for Manchester United. It's very unfortunate."

In truth, the news about Rafael is not such a big blow for Van Gaal.

The Brazilian has not started a Barclays Premier League game for the club since October.

Of more concern to the United boss is the long list of other players who are out through injury.

Phil Jones (ankle), Michael Carrick (calf) and Marcos Rojo (adductor) all missed last weekend's defeat to Chelsea and are not fit to feature at Everton on Sunday.

The only man who could return is midfielder Daley Blind, who missed the 1-0 loss at Stamford Bridge due to an ankle problem.

"Only Blind maybe can reach the game against Everton but Jones, Carrick and Rojo cannot play," the Dutchman added.

Adnan Januzaj appears to be available despite coming off in the same under-21 match as Rafael with an ankle injury.

"(His injury) is not so heavy," Van Gaal said.

Another piece of good news for Van Gaal is that centre-back Jonny Evans is available, having served his six-match ban for spitting at Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse.

Read more: Ashley Young: A bird did not poo in my mouth during match - the video was doctored

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