Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has placed Marcus Rashford’s participation at this summer’s European Championships into doubt and says Paul Pogba is ‘not anywhere near’ a first-team return at Manchester United.
England international Rashford has not featured since suffered a double stress fracture to his back during the club’s FA Cup third round replay with Wolves last month, but despite initially being expected to miss six to eight weeks is now a doubt to feature again this season.
Speaking ahead of Manchester United‘s Europa League clash with Club Brugge this evening, Solskjaer admits it will be ‘touch and go’ whether the 22-year-old will return before the end of the campaign, insisting Rashford is facing an uphill battle to prove his fitness ahead of Euro 2020.
“I would hope he’s playing this season. It will just be touch and go towards the end,” Solskjaer said at his pre-match press conference.
“Hopefully we can get through this tournament and prolong the season. It takes time, I’m not a doctor. I was hoping he would recover quicker than what it looks like he’s going to be out for – another few months definitely.
“If he’s not fit enough he won’t go [to the Euros].”
Solskjaer added that the severity of the injury is worse than initially feared, and says it is important that the forward is not rushed back into the first-team fold too soon.
“He had a scan and it was a more serious fracture than we hoped and expected,” the Norwegian explained. “He felt fine a few days before that.
“I didn’t know it takes that time to recover. When it heals he will be stronger for it so it’s important we don’t rush it and we don’t do that.”
The United boss also provided an update on the fitness of midfielder Pogba, the 26-year-old having made just eight appearances in all competitions so far this season as he continues to struggle with an ankle injury.
Solskjaer admitted that the France international is still some way off a return to action, Pogba yet to return to full team training having undergone surgery to correct the ongoing issue.
“He’s not been part of team training yet, so it’ll depend on how he feels or when he feels ready to do that,” Solskjaer said. “He’s not anywhere near that yet.”