…after sustaining injury
…someone has to step up
Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford insists he will play before the end of the season as he recuperates from a stress fracture.
The England international, 22, was injured after coming on as a substitute during the FA Cup third-round replay win against Wolves on 15 January.
Some reports suggested the forward, who has scored 19 goals for United this season, could miss two months.
But Rashford said on Twitter: “Blink and I’ll be back, fitter than ever.”
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he will give Rashford “as long as he needs” to get fit.
The precise length of his absence with a back injury is unknown.
Solskjaer has refused to offer any assurances about Rashford being back for the end of the season, or even Euro 2020, saying it would be at least six weeks before the striker is fit to start training.
Others who have suffered similar injuries say it will be much longer.
But Rashford wrote on Wednesday: “I’ll be back before the season ends to hopefully help my team claim top four.”
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Earlier, Solskjaer said: “Marcus is going to get as long as he needs. We are not going to risk him when he has had an injury. When he comes back he will be 100% fit.”
‘I never put myself before the team’
Former Arsenal and England forward Ian Wright has accused the United boss of putting his own needs ahead of those of Rashford by playing the forward against Wolves.
The Norwegian denies the allegation strongly.
“I never put myself before the team,” Solskjaer said. “I put the team and the club before anything else.
“Yes, he had minor discomfort but he had scans. We monitored him. We have to manage players every single day. There are loads of things Ian Wright, or anyone else, doesn’t know about.”
Solskjaer said Rashford was not suffering from a stress fracture prior to the Wolves game.
“He trained the day before and did really well,” he said. “He looked free. I asked him if he was OK to be on the bench and he said it was no problem.”
Rashford had been suffering from ‘minor discomfort’ before playing against Wolves and injuring his back, Solskjaer said
‘Someone has to step up’
Rashford’s absence has thrown into focus the decision to let Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez join Inter Milan last summer. There is no break clause in Sanchez’s loan deal, meaning United will continue paying the Chilean’s wages as they look for a short-term solution to what Solskjaer accepts is a stretched squad.
AC Milan’s Polish forward Krzysztof Piatek is the latest name to be linked with a move to Old Trafford, although that would almost certainly need to be a permanent deal rather than the loan United are initially looking for.
Neither Piatek, nor any alternative, will be available for Wednesday’s Premier League encounter with Burnley.
Solskjaer has ruled out picking 19-year-old D’Mani Mellor, a substitute in November’s Europa League game against Astana, so the responsibility of filling the void left by United’s 19-goal top scorer against Burnley will fall on Anthony Martial and 18-year-old Mason Greenwood.
“Someone has to step up,” said Solskjaer.
“Marcus has been fantastic and while we may find something in the transfer market, the best solution is the players making sure they are ready and taking their chance -because what has happened will create chances.”