Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has urged Lisandro Martinez to remain strong as he faces another lengthy period on the sidelines through injury.
Martinez fractured a bone in his foot towards the end of last season and aggravated the injury during a recent defeat to Arsenal, after which he played on for a further two games before ultimately being forced out of action.
While United have simply confirmed that Martinez faces an “extended period” in the treatment room, reports have suggested the centre-back is facing another three months out of action and is unlikely to return before 2024.
“That’s really sad, disappointing news,” Ten Hag told MUTV. “He has to go through the same process and I’m really sorry for him.
“The squad will miss him. As you know, we have more injuries, so we always have to deal with it as a squad. As a club, we have to deal with injuries.”
Offering some advice to Martinez, Ten Hag added: “He has to be strong. He will fight back, I’m sure. He is a character.
“There is still a long season ahead and he will be fit. We have to do our job, to get ourselves in the right position, so he can contribute, and add quality, when he returns.”
Raphael Varane, Martinez’s usual centre-back partner, is back from his own injury and will likely start against Crystal Palace on Saturday alongside one of Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelor or Jonny Evans.
Diogo Dalot is the only fit right-back available to Ten Hag, whose biggest injury headache comes at left-back as Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia and Sergio Reguilon are all unavailable.
Summer signing Sofyan Amrabat, a midfielder by trade, started the Carabao Cup victory over Palace at full-back and may be forced to take up the same role this time around.
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