Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does not expect Harry Maguire to be fit for Manchester United’s Europa League final against Villarreal next week, but he will grant his captain every opportunity to prove his fitness in Gdansk.
Maguire, who injured his ankle ligaments against Aston Villa earlier this month, boosted expectations for his return when he was seen on Thursday night without crutches or a protective boot. However, Solskjaer tempered expectations by acknowledging that the England defender is still a long way from being fully fit.
‘He’s walking, but it’s a long way from walking to racing. To be honest, I don’t think we’ll see him in Gdansk, but I’ll give him until Tuesday night and the last training session to show up.’ He’s healing slowly but steadily, but ligaments need longer to recover,’ United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said.
Maguire is also expected to play a role in Poland, according to Solskjaer. He added: ‘He’s a very powerful guy in the dressing room and a master. You could hear him from the stands. Until the crowd comes back in. He’s organizing from the stands. And he wants the squad to succeed. Since it’s been so quiet, it’s been easy. He’ll make certain that everyone is prepared for the final.’
Anthony Martial is also due to miss the final after Solskjaer’s announcement. Solskjaer announced that the Frenchman will not return from a knee injury in Sunday’s Premier League game against Wolves. Despite Fred and Scott McTominay being fit again.