Key Manchester United player set for extended spell on sidelines in new blow

By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens

Bastian Schweinsteiger is set to be sidelined for at least another month in the latest Manchester United injury blow.

The German midfielder has revealed that he will not start running for another five days, before he starts ball work five days after that.

Given the fitness levels he will need to reach to play first team football, it is likely to be another month at least before Schweinsteiger is back for the senior team.

The 31-year-old has been out with a knee injury he sustained in United’s FA Cup win over Sheffield United on 9 January.

Schweinsteiger was initially expected to return in the middle of January but the injury has proved to be worse than initially feared after it emerged that he had suffered ligament damage.

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The Germany captain delivered an updated bulletin on his fitness in an interview on Thursday.

“I can start running in about five days and five days later I can train with the ball,” he told Bild newspaper. “I expect to be back in March. A ligament tear takes time but it is healing well and I know my body. Everything will be fine.”

The midfielder has already missed nine matches with the injury but is confident it will not affect his participation in this summer’s European Championships.

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“I have played 27 matches this season despite injuries and suspensions. Obviously some things could have gone better but to claim that is a bit far fetched,” said Schweinsteiger of the doubts. “Unless the Euros are suddenly moved to March everything is looking good.”

United bid to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg of their last-32 Europa League clash when they host Denmark’s Midtjylland on Thursday night.

In other Manchester United injury news, four players returned to training on Wednesday.