Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pledged not to overplay Marcus Rashford after naming the forward in Manchester United’s squad to face Granada in the Europa League quarter-finals despite not being fully fit.
Having pulled out of the England squad with an ankle complaint, the 23-year-old limped off 72 minutes into Sunday’s 2-1 Premier League win against Brighton at Old Trafford.
Rashford equalised with a lovely first-time finish shortly before going off having been caught in a tackle, leading him to reportedly miss training on Tuesday.
But Rashford trained on Wednesday morning and has been included in the 24-man squad heading to Spain for the first leg of the Europa League last-eight clash.
“I can’t disclose the team now,” Solskjaer said.
“Marcus is travelling and we’ve just got to make a decision tomorrow if he starts or if he’s on the bench.
“I don’t think he’ll be a 90-minute man so let’s see where he’s at tomorrow.”
Rashford missed a chunk of time last year with a back injury that he had been managing, while he is said to be dealing with a shoulder issue that might need an operation after this summer’s Euros.
“I don’t pick players when we know there’s a risk,” Solskjaer said. “Of course there’s always a risk when you step onto the pitch and when you play football.
“But if the physios and the medical advice is that ‘this is too much of a risk to play him’, I will never ever play a player that we, in advance, know about if it’s going to make it worse or if it’s a serious one.
“Marcus joined in training this morning so let’s see how he reacts. If there’s any risk of making this worse, I’m not going to overplay him.
“His back has recovered. But he’s a tough one and he wants to play, he wants to give his all for Man United and it’s also a responsibility for the player to tell us, as he did on Sunday. He said: ‘no, it’s too sore, I’ve got to come off’.”
Anthony Martial will miss the trip to Spain and potentially the rest of the season with a knee injury, while Eric Bailly is still in the Ivory Coast following a positive Covid-19 test.
Juan Mata is back involved and Solskjaer confirmed that 18-year-old Anthony Elanga, who he believes offers “some X factor”, will be on the bench for the first time after injury delayed his promotion.