Van Gaal Confirms Fresh Double Injury Blow + Latest On Di Maria, Blind & Rojo

By on January 5, 2015

Angel Di Maria Man Utd

Image: Express

Manchester United have been hit by a double injury blow with Louis van Gaal confirming that Rafael and Luke Shaw have both picked up fresh injuries during Sunday’s 2-0 FA Cup win at Yeovil.

Rafael didn’t appear after half-time at Huish Park yesterday after suffering a suspected fractured cheekbone with the Brazilian international replaced by centre-back Jonny Evans.

The 24-year-old has only recently returned after missing much of the first half of the season through injury, so it will be a big disappointment that he’s facing more time on the sidelines with van Gaal saying the latest injury doesn’t look good.

Shaw also failed to appear after the break during United’s FA Cup third round tie at Yeovil and van Gaal has confirmed the clubs big-money summer signing has picked up a ankle injury.

The former Southampton youngster missed six weeks with an ankle injury earlier in the season so United will be hoping this latest problem isn’t a serious one – particularly with Ashley Young already out with a hamstring strain.

While the injuries are a blow, van Gaal revealed that they turned out to be a blessing in disguise as he was forced to re-shape his team which eventually led to two second half goals from Ander Herrera and Angel Di Maria which booked their place in the next round.

The Dutchman told ManUtd.com:

“Rafa has a fracture, so it’s not looking good, and Shaw has an ankle problem,”

“I had to change, and I don’t have more defenders, so I have to change the shape also.

“Rafael had a fresh injury so it was fantastic that he had the guts to play through. He has a fantastic mentality, it’s unbelievable. But I had to change him and Shaw because they aren’t 100 per cent fit.

“I put a midfielder extra in and, because of that, maybe we had more ball possession in the second half, and we had more patience.

“We have to change from five to four, we played four in midfield in the second half, then we played better and we more patient, we kept the ball better also and, because of that, we could score the winning goal.”

van Gaal also gave the clubs website an update on the fitness of Di Maria, Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo. Di Maria made his return to the first team yesterday after several weeks on the treatment table with hamstring and pelvic injuries and the Argentinean international marked his comeback with a well-taken goal.

And the former Real Madrid attacker is due to be joined in the first team by Blind and Rojo with van Gaal confirming the pair are closing in on making their comeback’s from injury.

“We can be very happy because the players are coming back now,” he explained.

“Angel Di Maria is coming back, Daley Blind is coming back, Marcos Rojo is coming back – so we have more left-footed players, and that we need also. I have to solve every week another problem, and now during a match.”

United have certainly had their fair share of injury problems during the first half of the season with van Gaal having to deal with as many as ten casualties as any one time, and just it looked like their was light at the end of the tunnel, they’ve picked up two new problems.

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