David Moyes is looking forward to seeing the injured players in his squad return to fitness, but as yet is unsure as to who may be in contention for the vital Capital One Cup semi-final on Tuesday.
Wayne Rooney sat out the FA Cup defeat to Swansea City with a groin problem, while Robin van Persie is yet to feature since sustaining a thigh injury against Shakhtar Donetsk on 10 December. The versatile Phil Jones was ruled out for around two weeks over Christmas with a knee problem, and right-back Rafael may be closing in on a return from a groin issue, but Nani’s hamstring injury, picked up in training, will rule out the winger in the immediate future.
Marouane Fellaini is also out of action following surgery to correct a wrist problem, while Ashley Young is sidelined for an unspecified time after injuring his shoulder when challenged by Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris on New Year’s Day.
With a trip to the Stadium of Light for the first leg against Sunderland in the offing just over 48 hours after the meeting with Swansea, Moyes is keen to have as many options as possible available but only if they are ready.
“It’ll be great when we get them [injured players back],” he told BT Sport. “The sooner we get them back the better. We’ll get them back when they’re ready but they’re not ready yet.
“If you lose games at any club it’s always difficult and at Manchester United that’s even bigger, but that’s my job and I’ve got to get on with it. We’ve got a game coming up on Tuesday and we’ll get the players ready for that.”
The injured players combined with the close proximity of a cup semi-final were a major consideration