English Premiership

Blind set for 'long' lay-off

2014-11-20 19:30
Daley Blind (AFP)

Manchester - Manchester United midfielder Daley Blind's knee ligament injury is not as bad as first feared, but he still faces a "long" lay-off, manager Louis van Gaal has revealed on Thursday.

Blind, 24, hobbled off during the first half of Holland's 6-0 defeat of Latvia on Sunday after injuring himself in a tangle with opposition forward Eduards Visnakovs.

Holland coach Guus Hiddink, who succeeded van Gaal after the World Cup, initially suggested Blind would be out for around six weeks, and van Gaal said the full extent of the injury had yet to be determined.

"He is not ready to play. He has now a brace on his knee -- 10 days' rest, and then we'll have another scan and say more about his injury," van Gaal told his weekly press conference at United's Carrington training base.

"It's not as bad as the doctors thought after the match, but it shall be a long story, I believe. But not six months or something like that."

Van Gaal has received some welcome good news on the injury front with goalkeeper David de Gea and winger Angel Di Maria both set to face Arsenal on Saturday.

Van Gaal has been plagued by injury problems since taking over at Old Trafford and has several big names in the treatment room, including Blind, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Jonny Evans, Rafael and Radamel Falcao.

But Spain international De Gea has been passed fit despite dislocating a finger on international duty and Di Maria has also been given the all-clear after picking up a leg injury playing for Argentina against Portugal.

"He (Di Maria) has trained today normally, so I don't think that's a question mark," the Dutchman added. "David de Gea is good, no problem.
Midfielder Michael Carrick will also be in the squad, despite withdrawing from England duty with a calf problem, as United look to build on a remarkable record of one defeat in 14 games against Arsenal.

However, Luke Shaw is likely to miss the trip to north London with the calf strain he picked up in England's 3-1 win over Scotland.

On-loan striker Falcao is also still out, but the Colombia international has played down fears that his current injury problem is related to the knee surgery he underwent last season.

"It is a bit frustrating. I did take a small injury to my calf, which is something that I need to be careful with," he said. "I am getting better, I feel well and I hope to come back to the pitch soon.

"It is disappointing that I can't play, but I have to be calm and recover because that is important to help the team when I return to the games."

United have endured a worrisome international break, but saw captain Wayne Rooney prosper with three goals and his 100th England cap.

However, Rooney has not scored a club goal since the end of September and van Gaal is hoping to see that change as United look for just a second win in five games to move nearer the top four.

He added: "It's always fantastic when you see he's the youngest player with 100 caps. He's receiving a cap and his sons are standing there proud, but also that the father is proud.

"It's fantastic to see. I have congratulated him, but now he has to score for Manchester United and that's important as well."

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