Ornstein claims Martinez is set to ‘miss the rest of the season’ in huge Man Utd blow

Joe Williams
Lisandro Martinez playing for Man Utd

The Athletic journalist David Ornstein claims that Man Utd centre-back Lisandro Martinez is ‘expected to miss rest of the season’ after picking up an injury against Sevilla on Thursday night.

Their Europa League quarter-final against Sevilla looked set to end in a comfortable first-leg win, only for it to unravel in a chaotic, and potentially costly, 2-2 draw.

Tyrell Malacia’s 84th-minute own goal was compounded by a serious-looking injury to Martinez, who pulled up in pain gripping his right ankle and was eventually taken away on a stretcher.

Man Utd had already lost fellow first-choice centre-back Raphael Varane to injury at half-time and his replacement Harry Maguire scored an unfortunate own goal in stoppage-time.

Asked if he could provide an update on Martinez and Varane on Friday lunchtime, Erik ten Hag shook his head and said: “Sorry, no.

“It’s not even 24 hours, so I don’t have a complete diagnosis so I can’t tell in this moment.”

Ten Hag downplayed concerns that Martinez had sustained an Achilles injury in Thursday’s post-match press conference but was coy the following day when asked about reports the defender had broken a metatarsal.

“I can’t say in this moment,” the Man Utd boss said. “When we have news, we will give it straight to you.

“But let’s do the medical, do the assessment, fully diagnose, complete the diagnosis and then we will give the news.

“It doesn’t change in this moment. I have an idea (what is is) but I don’t cause speculation.”

But now The Athletic journalist Ornstein has brought us all an update with claims Man Utd centre-back Martinez ‘is expected to miss the rest of the season with a foot injury’.

Ornstein was not too upbeat about Varane’s chances either, adding on the Frenchman’s injury: ‘There are concerns his campaign could also be over but the club are hopeful that does not also prove the case.’

The loss of Martinez is a huge blow with the Argentina international – who signed in the summer from Dutch side Ajax – one of their best players this season with the Martinez-Varane partnership emerging as Ten Hag’s preferred pairing in the heart of defence.

Back-up centre-backs Maguire and Victor Lindelof will now have an important role to play in the pair’s absence, which adds to an injury list that includes Marcus Rashford, Alejandro Garnacho and Donny van de Beek.

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