Nemanja Matic in possession against Young Boys.

Matic explains surgery decision

Nemanja Matic has explained how he was playing through the pain barrier towards the end of last season as he looks to build on a strong first season at Manchester United.

The Serbian made his 50th start for the club in the midweek victory at Young Boys in the Champions League and has proved to be a vital cog in Jose Mourinho’s midfield since linking up again with his former Chelsea manager.

Following his World Cup exploits with Serbia in the summer, he reported back for pre-season in the United States but required surgery on an abdominal problem that had been dogging him for some time.

Nemanja Matic looking relaxed.
Nemanja Matic is feeling good again after surgery.

It means Matic is now back to full fitness and, after missing Saturday's Premier League draw with Wolves due to a one-match suspension, he could feature in the Carabao Cup encounter with Derby County at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

”I’d had this injury for a few months and, when I went to America, in the first training session, I didn’t feel well and I asked the doctor to see what he could do,” said Matic, during an in-depth interview for the October edition of Inside United.

“I had the operation in Philadelphia as, after the scan, the doctor recommended surgery as the only way to fix the problem. I feel good now.

Nemanja Matic stretches in the United States.
Nemanja Matic stretches in the American sunshine during Tour 2018 presented by Aon.

”I could see I couldn’t give my best because this injury was serious. It was painful so I needed to fix it. Sometimes, you can play through the pain and I played the last few months of the season with the pain but I think, for this season, it was better to fix the problem.

“I didn’t want to spend time during the season fixing it as I need to be ready for the season that we have.”

Luke Shaw on the cover of Inside United, October 2018 issue
October's Inside United, featuring Luke Shaw and Nemanja Matic, is out now.

The full interview with Nemanja Matic is in the latest issue of Inside United, available online and also at Old Trafford before Tuesday's Carabao Cup clash with Derby County.

The official club magazine also includes a feature on cover star Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling talking about becoming a vegan and other interviews with Jose Mourinho, Victor Lindelof and Dimitar Berbatov.