Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez will not need surgery for the injury sustained against West Ham but could still face two months out, it has been claimed.
Argentina defender Martinez returned from injury in January after more than three months out, but went down injured in the second half against West Ham on Sunday. He attempted to play on, but was eventually forced to make way for Raphael Varane.
According to reports in Argentina, the World Cup winner has suffered a sprained collateral ligament. The recovery time for such an injury has been suggested as between one-and-a-half and two months, which would allow the former Ajax man to play again this season.
United will still be able to call upon Varane and the recently returned Harry Maguire in Martinez’s absence. Manager Erik ten Hag had suggested the injury was a bad one when speaking after Sunday’s victory, and the Red Devils will now be hoping the absence is on the lower end of the estimations.
Argentine outlet TyC Sports are reporting that Martinez will avoid surgery, something framed as good news for the defender. The 26-year-old went down following a challenge with West Ham defender Vladimir Coufal, and Ten Hag’s instant response wasn’t a positive one.
“Lisandro Martinez’s injury does not look good,” United’s manager said. “It is very bad for him. We wish Licha all the best. It’s very bad also for the team. It seems bad. We have to wait and make the right diagnosis. At this moment, we are very sad.
“Hopefully, it is not too bad, but we can only pray. It looks like he has to sit some games out injured again. I can’t tell you the details. We have to find out in the next few days what the diagnosis is. He is just returning. He is very important to us. He brings spirit to the team, aside from his football ability.”
United, who didn’t make any additions to their senior squad in the January transfer window, travel to Aston Villa next weekend. Villa are coming off a comfortable 5-0 win at Sheffield United, and will be looking to get one over on United after their dramatic Boxing Day defeat.