It is a vast understatement to say that Anthony Martial has had an injury-riddled season. He’ll miss out again tonight, marking his 26th absence in 41 games thus far this season. It is not just that he keeps getting hurt, it’s that he is repeating this cycle of getting-hurt-coming back-instantly getting injured again.
Perhaps the Frenchman forward is coming back too soon? Pushing himself too hard once he does return? Manager Erik Ten Hag discussed the former Monaco man, who was acquired on summer transfer window deadline day 2015, at his press conference yesterday.
Manchester United vs West Ham United FYIs
Kickoff: Wed March 1, 7:45 pm, Old Trafford
Competition: FA Cup 5th Round/Round of 16
Starting XI Predictions: United West Ham
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
Fun Fact: In the FA Cup’s current format (since 1925-26), no club has advanced from the fifth round more often than Man United (41)
Stat Pack: West Ham have only earned one victory (D4L15) in their last 20 trips to Old Trafford across all competitions.
Anthony Martial took a pic with the medical team.
This is funny ? pic.twitter.com/2ekBvTQ3xR
— UF (@UtdFaithfuls) February 26, 2023
United played eight games in the month of February, and Martial has missed the last seven, due to a hip injury. In answering a question about fixture congestion, Ten Hag ruled out the 27-year-old’s availability for this clash.
“In my experience in Ajax, when we dropped out of Europe the levels went down and when you are in it gives energy,” the Dutchman said.
“Until now, we have managed it (the high amount of games) quite well and I think we can do it also until the end of the season. Except Anthony Martial, the availability from all the players is there.”
Anthony Martial in individual training.
? @rxnpixels pic.twitter.com/lfFE4OjaBM
— The United Stand (@UnitedStandMUFC) February 22, 2023
As you can see from the video above, Anthony Martial has been training, outside on grass, but only in individual-based programs. When will he return to full training? It remains to be seen, but Ten Hag made it clear he won’t be rushed back. Instead Anthony Martial will be eased back into it.
“I don’t have an expectation about that, let him do his work,” said Ten Hag.
“Several times now he comes back and he drops back too quickly. Give him the time. Of course I hope he’s on board but at this moment we’re doing really well with this set-up.
“When he is available then we have an extra option and a good option so give him time. When he’s back we’ll be happy because we will have a quality extra option, hopefully for the rest of the season.”
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.
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