Manchester United have been accused of failing to protect star forward Marcus Rashford after he was forced to continue playing through excruciating pain.
Rashford has been in sensational form for United this season, having already found the net 14 times in just 22 league appearances.
However, he was forced off after coming on as a substitute during the recent FA Cup win over Wolverhampton Wanderers and also missed the Red Devils’ last match – a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool.
It was recently revealed that the 22-year-old was already carrying a single stress fracture in his back but now has a double stress fracture. As a result, he is expected to be out for two or three months. To that end, the forward also has a piece of floating bone in his ankle, which will require surgery.
The Telegraph are now reporting that Rashford was in such immense pain prior to the Wolves clash that he was struggling just to sit down. The England international went for an interview with Ryan Giggs on the weekend of United’s 4-0 win over Norwich, but he was forced to stand up for large parts of it due to the discomfort he was in.
United have been accused of failing to give Rashford adequate protection by former players, who themselves have suffered from stress fractures. Former Arsenal and United striker Robin van Persie insisted that the club must not rush the player back and must give him time.
“I had a similar injury, a stress fracture in my lower back. I was out with that for four months,” he said, as quoted by the Telegraph.
“You can’t really do much, you have to just rest and let it heal. But it is a difficult one because it always stays a little bit like a weak spot. Even now, it is not that I’m in pain or something, but it’s a sensitive area. So you have to be really careful with that.”
Former Tottenham player Jamie O’Hara, who developed a double stress fracture after playing through the pain and was subsequently ruled out for nine months, has also claimed that United should have taken much better care of Rashford.
“For me, Manchester United have not protected him they’ve put him in danger of not being the same player,” O’Hara told talkSPORT.
“I had the same problem because I overplayed. I was on loan at Portsmouth and having aches and pains, but I kept playing and ended up doing both sides. I had a double stress fracture, which Rashford has now got, and I was out for nine months.
“It’s really poor from Man United in terms of how they’ve dealt with that injury. I’m so disappointed. For a club not to protect a young player like Rashford with an injury they must have known he had, and let it get to the point where he then does the other side, it’s absolutely suicidal.”