Manchester United face defensive injury crisis after fresh Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof blow


Manchester United have suffered a double blow at the back with Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof both ruled out for at least a month with muscle problems to give manager Erik ten Hag a potential defensive injury crisis for Thursday’s trip to Chelsea.

Both centre-backs should be back before the end of the campaign but they will miss next week’s clash with Liverpool and the FA Cup semi-final against Coventry, while they could be in a race against time to be fit for the visit of Arsenal on 11 May.

Martinez, who suffered a calf strain in training, faces a third spell on the sidelines this season after his latest comeback – as a substitute at Brentford on Saturday – only brought him 21 minutes of first-team football.

The World Cup winner was out for three-and-a-half months from September with a foot injury and underwent surgery while he was then out for seven weeks with a knee problem.

The Argentinian, who was signed by manager Ten Hag from his former club Ajax, has only made 11 appearances for United this season.

Sweden international Lindelof came off in the second half against Brentford with a hamstring injury. The 29-year-old missed 10 games earlier in the campaign with a groin problem.

It means Ten Hag could be down to just one fit centre-back for Thursday’s match at Stamford Bridge with Jonny Evans a doubt after missing their last two matches and Raphael Varane taken off at half-time against Brentford in a precautionary move.

Only Harry Maguire is definitely fit while Ten Hag is also without his two specialist left-backs, in Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia.

The 19-year-old defender Billy Kambwala, who has only started one game in his senior career, was on the bench at Brentford and could be required.



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