The Manchester United stalwart was called ashore on the 66th minute mark in today’s 2-1 win over West Brom.
Antonio Valencia has truly embraced the leader role in an ever changing United team.
Michael Carrick was handed the captain’s armband once Wayne Rooney departed in the summer. Carrick’s health concerns have meant that Valencia has been tasked with being the senior representative in the side.
Despite his importance in that regard, his presence remains crucial at this time of year given that defensive partner Eric Bailly will be out of action until at least March. Marouane Fellaini has been ruled out until the new year.
It was therefore worrying when Valencia pointed to his hamstring today at the Hawthorns, immediately having to come off to be replaced by Marcos Rojo. When Paul Pogba suffered an injury to the same area in September, the midfielder spent the bones of two months on the sidelines.
Antonio Valencia comes off with an injury. Manchester United’s only source for width down the right is now gone. Desperately need a winger.
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) December 17, 2017
If tests confirm Antonio Valencia has suffered a hamstring strain, the Ecuadorian won’t be playing again this year. #MUFC
— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) December 17, 2017
Jose Mourinho was unable to assess the situation fully post-match, terming the issue a “December injury”.
Mou: "Valencia's injury is what I call a'December injury'. It's the accumulation of games, a muscular problem." #MUFC
— Kris Voakes (@krisvoakes) December 17, 2017
Per the man himself, however, the substitution appears to have been precautionary, with the Ecuadorian feeling “fine” after the injury scare.
— Antonio Valencia (@anto_v25) December 17, 2017
Matteo Darmian may tog out for Wednesday’s Carabao Cup clash with Bristol City as a further safety measure, but Valencia should be well placed to grind out the congested Christmas period.