BRUGGE, Belgium — Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has cast doubt on Marcus Rashford’s hopes of playing for Manchester United again this season, and has even suggested he could miss this summer’s European Championships.
Rashford has already missed a month after suffering a double stress fracture in his back and Solskjaer said the striker, who has scored 19 goals this season, will spend more time on the sidelines because his recovery takes longer than expected.
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“I hope he will play this season, but it will touch and go towards the end,” Solskjaer said at a press conference before the Europa League draw with Club Brugge. “It takes time.
“I’m not a doctor, but I was hoping he’d get over it faster than it looks. It will come out a few more months, that’s for sure.
“He had a scan and maybe it was more serious, this fracture, than we expected.”
Solskjaer also raised doubts as to whether Rashford will be fit in time to feature at this summer’s European Championships. England will start their campaign against Croatia at Wembley on 14 June.
“I hope he plays before, but if he’s not fit enough, he won’t go,” added the Norwegian.
Scott McTominay and Axel Tuanzebe both trained at Carrington on Wednesday morning but did not make the trip to Belgium. Paul Pogba is still absent as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury in Dubai.
“He [Pogba] hasn’t been part of the team’s training yet and it will depend on how he feels when he’s ready to do it,” Solskjaer said. “He’s not close to that yet.”
United will be looking to put their foot forward in the next round of the Europa League with the win over Club Brugge on Thursday. The hosts have a nine-point lead at the top of the Belgian top having not lost for more than two months.
They also claimed a 2-2 credit with Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in October. New signing Odion Ighalo has travelled after making his debut as a substitute in Monday’s 2-0 win over Chelsea and could start for his new club for the first time.
“I’m not going to tell you the team today, but we’re going to have to shoot with all the games to come,” Solskjaer said. “This is someone who could start, we haven’t made a decision yet.”