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Sabitzer injured during Austria Euro qualifier, doesn’t feature against Estonia

Austria v Azerbaijan: Group F - UEFA EURO 2024 Qualifying Round Photo by Uwe Winter/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Manchester United loanee Marcel Sabitzer has picked up a knock on international duty. He tweaked his knee in a 4-1 win over Azerbaijan, the first of Austria’s UEFA Euro qualifers, and did not feature in their second match against Estonia on Monday.

The Austria captain was a driving force in his team’s win, scoring twice and assisting another, but had to leave in the second half after picking up the knock.

Austria manager and former interim United boss Ralf Rangnick gave the impression that the injury wasn’t too serious, and appeared to be considering playing Sabitzer if he felt up to the task.

“In the end, it is a question of pain and pain tolerance for both Marcel and Gernot [Trauner],” Rangnick said of his players’ respective injury situations. “Of course, we hope that Marcel will do well, especially after that first game in Linz. At the moment, I’m optimistic that it can work but, at the end of the day, it’s also a question of whether Marcel feels ready for it himself. At the moment, I am assuming he’ll play.

Sabitzer did not train ahead of the Estonia match, and did not feature either. It’s a concern ahead of his return to United considering he was one of three available midfielders in domestic play after Casemiro’s suspension and Christian Eriksen’s injury from January. Sabitzer hasn’t offered the same kind of control as either of those players in the middle of the park, but he is a creative and aggressive player in attack.

United return to action against Newcastle United at St. James’ Park on April 2nd, which gives them about a week to evaluate Sabitzer’s fitness and give him some time to recover. He will be needed to combat a difficult midfield on Tyneside.