BEVERLY HILLS, May 11, (THEWILL) – It is a race to fitness for English defender Harry Maguire after the imposing centre-back limped off before the final whistle in the English Premier League fixture between his side Manchester United and Aston Villa at Villa Park, which the visitors won 3-1 through a spirited comeback.
With four fixtures left for United in the calendar and the big final of the UEFA Europa League against Samuel Chukwueze’s La Liga side Villarreal later this month, it is going to be a gruelling time for the medical team in Old Trafford to get the defender fit enough to rejoin the squad in the shortest possible time frame.
There has not been much by way of information forthcoming about Maguire from United. The only knowledge of the extent of his injury came from club manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who said: “Hopefully it will be OK with Harry, I don’t know.
“We need to check it. It might be a few weeks or a month, we don’t know. It was his calf or lower leg. I think the player landed on him and he twisted something.”
The manager was optimistic about the outcome but vague: “His fitness is very good – he’s robust. But, today, it looked like the boy landed on him and he twisted his ankle. I don’t know how serious it is. He might be available on Tuesday, he might not.”
For now, it seems that the United centre-back remains a serious doubt for upcoming fixtures against Leicester on Tuesday, May 11, and the rescheduled Liverpool tie, that was affected the the fan invasion of the Old Trafford grounds, on Thursday, May 13, especially because of the tight and laborious scheduling of these ties for the players.
The hope for Solskjaer now is that Maguire can be back for the other two matches, a home tie against the now-relegated Fulham on Tuesday, May 18 and the away game to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday, May 23 to be in shape for the Wednesday, May 26 UEL final in Gdańsk.
As the Europa League final falls just three days after their final league match, it will be easy to surmise that if he cannot, at least, make an appearance against Wolves, it will imply he will not be in the lineup for the squad to challenge Villarreal in the final.
It will also be worrying as that will be a pointer to a more serious damage which will require a longer spell on the sidelines. But, Maguire, who is expected to play a role in the English national football team with the Euro 2020 on the horizon, will be sweating out getting back to fitness sooner than later.