Ahead of the much vaunted Manchester Derby, Manchester United were struck with an injury blow as attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan was forced off in the first half with rib injury on his international duty.
In Armenia’s friendly clash against the Czech Republic, the 27-year-old suffered a rib injury and was subbed off. United will be warily, waiting for his injury status report to come. Mkhitaryan had a collision with the Czech Republic and Basel defender Marek Sukhy.
According to reports, the substitution was precautionary ahead of Armenia’s World Cup qualifier with Denmark on Sunday, which the midfielder is likely to play. He signed for United from Borussia Dortmund in the recently concluded summer transfer window. Mkhitaryan is yet to start for the Premier League giants, since making a switch to Old Trafford.
Mkhitaryan starred for United after coming from the bench in his side’s 1-0 win over Hull City. His form saw him he could make it to the starting lineup for the clash against Pep Guardiola’s side.
Jose Mourinho would probably love to throw Mkhitaryan into the mix against City, as his pace, directness and skill can cause havoc for the opposition’s defence. United and their fans would be on bated breath, waiting for the assessment of the injury.
According to the Manchester Evening News, the injury is not serious and the player is hoping to take part in Armenia’s clash against Denmark. Going by the report, being asked on chances of his availability in their first 2018 World Cup qualifier match, Mkhitaryan answered: “I hope so.”
Sky Sports has reported that Mkhitaryan is a doubt to be part of United squad for the Manchester derby due to a knee injury, caused by the off-the-ball collision with Sukhy. Marouane Fellaini may also miss the derby on September 10 with a back injury, though the midfielder has joined Belgium squad.
Mourinho confirmed that the former Everton suffered a “bad” injury following his side’s third league win over Hull. Fellaini’s involvement for the derby is something that still needs to be assessed. A section of United fans will be hoping the Belgium international could be fit enough to start against City.