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Manchester United Injury Problems Worsen As Another Key Player Is Ruled Out For A Month

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24: Chris Smalling of Manchester United (L) attempts to keep the ball while under pressure from Islam Slimani of Leicester City (R) during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Leicester City at Old Trafford on September 24, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Manchester United defenders are beginning to drop like flies.

Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling both missed Manchester United’s recent win at Swansea, which manager José Mourinho publicly castigated them for, but it has since emerged that the latter has in fact suffered a broken toe and will miss the next month of action at least.

The Daily Mail are reporting that further tests to Smalling’s injury have revealed it to be worse than initially thought – meaning that while the optimistic return timeline is a month, the England international may not play again before Christmas.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20:  Robin van Persie of Fenerbahce is closed down by Chris Smalling of Manchester United  during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Manchester United FC and Fenerbahce SK at Old Trafford on October 20, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

This will be a devastating blow to Mourinho, particularly as Eric Bailly and Antonio Valencia have also been ruled out of action ahead of the busy December period. So depleted was the team at the Liberty Stadium last weekend that Mourinho had start a defence of Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Michael Carrick and Matteo Darmian, none of whom would be first choice normally and two of whom are midfielders.

SWANSEA, WALES - NOVEMBER 06:  United player Michael Carrick in action during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Manchester United at Liberty Stadium on November 6, 2016 in Swansea, Wales.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

That may have been alright against Swansea, but Man United’s next match is at home to in-form Arsenal in eight days time. This is a match they desperately have to win in order to keep in touch with the league leaders, and despite Mourinho’s stellar record against Arsene Wenger he can’t be confident going into this fixture if he has to name the aforementioned four names at the back again.

However, one would think that Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo are likely to come back into the team. Shaw too, provided he has fully recovered by then.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Luke Shaw of Manchester United is closed down by Leroy Sane of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on September 10, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Smalling has not played for the club since October 23rd, when he looked severely off the pace in the 4-0 drubbing by Chelsea. It since emerged that the 26-year-old was playing with pain-killing injections in order to get through the 90 minutes.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.