Ten Hag says there is ‘a chance’ Rashford will be back for Europa League tie

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has kept the hope alive that Marcus Rashford could feature in the club’s second-leg tie against Sevilla after missing Thursday night’s quarter-final opener due to injury.

The England star suffered a groin injury during United’s 2-0 win against Everton last week, and fears that the club’s top scorer would be sidelined long-term grew ahead of Rashford’s scan on the injury on Monday.

The muscle damage was not as bad as initially feared, but it meant that Rashford was unavailable to take part in the 2-2 draw played out at Old Trafford on Thursday.

The targetman was badly missed amidst his side’s second-half carelessness that saw the visitors swiped two late equalisers to set the opponents level ahead of next Thursday’s match.

But speaking ahead of United’s Premier League game against Nottingham Forest on Sunday, Ten Hag was more positive about Rashford’s return.

‘There is a chance but I can’t confirm it in this moment,’ the Dutch manager said when questioned on the subject at Carrington on Friday.

Bruno Fernandes will not be available for selection in Seville after picking up a suspension, and Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez are doubts after both players were taken off injured against the Nervionenses.

Rashford has scored 28 goals and made 10 assists in 47 games for United this season, and his inclusion in the starting XI will play a crucial part in the side’s top four race.

But as per the Athletic, the club will not want to risk the damage worsening if he is rushed into recovery, and they will seek to monitor his return to training with caution.

In the aftermath of the Everton match, Ten Hag lashed out at the Premier League scheduling, saying that the fixture run was to blame for the ‘avoidable’ injury suffered by Rashford.

‘Some things you can’t avoid but this was avoidable. Why was the Premier League giving us the late late Sunday night game and the early Saturday game. I think it is not right,’ Ten Hag said.

‘You run the risk that players can’t recover that quickly. All the science and research tells you the players need a certain period to recover.

‘If it is one game after another, it accumulates.

‘We are now finding ourselves in this situation and now we can only pray he [Rashford] is not drooping off.

‘No manager at this stage of the season would rotate so much. It was not necessary to set the schedule like this and from a sporting point of view, we want freshness.’

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