Marcus Rashford’s season and Euro 2020 dreams could be over after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed the Manchester United star will be out for at least “another few months” with a back injury.
In a campaign of ups and downs at Old Trafford, the 22-year-old’s performances and goals had been one of the main positives.
But a fine end to the year has been followed by a galling start to 2020.
Solskjaer initially expected Rashford to miss six weeks with the double stress fracture to his back sustained in last month’s FA Cup replay against Wolves.
However, the United manager admits the England forward could miss the rest of the season – and perhaps even this summer’s European Championship.
“I would hope he’s playing this season but it’ll just be touch and go towards the end,” Solskjaer said ahead of the Europa League round of 32 first leg at Club Brugge.
“So hopefully we can go through and get through this tournament and prolong the season.
“It takes time. I’m not a doctor, but obviously I was hoping that he would recover quicker than it actually looks like he’s going to be out for. So, another few months definitely.”
Asked whether he would be in risk of missing Euro 2020, Solskjaer said: “Well, I would hope that he plays before then but we’re not sure, so if he’s not fit enough, he won’t go.”
Simon Mignolet has no regrets about his Liverpool exit and hopes to give the red half of Merseyside something to smile about against rivals United.
Following three years with Sunderland, the Belgium goalkeeper moved to Anfield in 2013 and went on to make more than 200 appearances for the Reds.
Mignolet was part of the Liverpool squad who won last season’s Champions League but, like so often in recent seasons, he was restricted to a watching brief for the Madrid finale.
Asked if he had any regrets about leaving ever-improving Liverpool, Mignolet said: “No, of course, because I very well knew that before I left that Liverpool was going to play a great season and would be challenging for titles, both domestically and in Europe.
“But I’ve said it loads of times, that I want to be playing week in, week out, and I’ve got the chance to do that with Club Brugge now, so I’m very pleased with that.
“It’s not me against Manchester United or me playing against an English team.
“It’s Club Brugge against Manchester United and we have to play our game as a team and as a club to try and give us the best platform to play the second leg at Old Trafford.
“I’ve said it before, Manchester United are a really good team. They’re playing well. It’s going to be a fixture; it’s going to be tough challenge.”