Casemiro’s recent injury saga has left Manchester United fans eager for his return. The Brazilian midfielder suffered an ankle injury while on international duty with Brazil during a World Cup qualifying draw against Venezuela. However, just four days later, he took to the field against Uruguay in a 2-0 defeat, raising eyebrows and concerns about his fitness.
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag expects Casemiro to recover in time for the highly-anticipated Manchester derby at Old Trafford, though he admitted that Casemiro’s decision to play against Uruguay may not have been in his best interest.
Casemiro has stayed in Brazil to allow for additional recovery time and will miss United’s Premier League fixture against Sheffield United, as well as the Champions League clash with Copenhagen due to suspension. However, he is expected to make a triumphant return when Manchester United hosts City on October 29.
While Casemiro’s commitment to both Brazil and Manchester United is unquestionable, there are concerns about the potential exacerbation of his injury during the Uruguay match. Ten Hag acknowledged that Casemiro’s decision to play was within the rules, but it may have taken a toll on his recovery.
“You can’t – they are the rules. And he’s played for his nation and he’s playing for us, and we all understand Casemiro is a soldier who is always available for every game. He will always give his best for the nation and Manchester United,” stated Ten Hag. “He was injured in the first game and came off, but he played the second game, which was an important one. I’m sure that game didn’t help him, but it’s a minor injury, and he’ll return next week, healed and ready for our next game.”
In addition to Casemiro, the Manchester United squad has been plagued by injuries this season. Luke Shaw, who has been sidelined since mid-August with a hamstring tear, is not expected to return until after the November internationals. However, Aaron Wan-Bissaka is nearing a comeback after a five-week layoff due to a muscular injury. Kobbie Mainoo, who sustained an ankle injury in a friendly defeat to Real Madrid in July, has resumed team training and is set to return to action in the coming weeks.
Unfortunately, Lisandro Martinez is unlikely to return until late November as he recovers from surgery to address a fractured metatarsal in his right foot.
Ten Hag acknowledged the challenge of managing a squad with several absentees, emphasizing the importance of consistent player availability for building and maintaining routines. However, he does not view injuries as an excuse and remains positive about Manchester United’s prospects when the players return.
Despite the adversity, Ten Hag is determined to make the best of the situation and remains optimistic about the team’s performance once they have a fully fit squad at their disposal.