Manchester United defender Lisandro Martínez was forced off during the 3-0 win over West Ham with a worrying injury to his knee.
Martínez, 26, came off in the 70th minute of the game after chasing down a counter-attack, shortly after he originally seemed to injure the knee in a clash with West Ham’s Vladimir Coufal on the United touchline.
The Argentine defender missed much of the last year following consecutive injuries to his foot. He was wearing an ice pack after coming off against Wolves, but that was described by Erik ten Hag as a precaution.
Following full-time on Sunday afternoon, an injury specialist’s social media account analysed the injury which forced Martínez off the field.
With various images of the point of injury, the account detailed: “If we notice that the player’s weight falls on Martinez’s knee, this is the reason for entering the knee from the inside with an inward twist.
“Often such injuries may be a sprain of the inner ligament of the knee.”
Such injuries are also known as medial collateral ligament (MCL) injuries. According to Cleveland Clinic, the severity of such an injury depends on the level of tear sustained.
Information from their website says: “A grade 1 (mild) MCL tear usually heals within one to three weeks. A grade 2 (moderate) MCL tear generally takes four to six weeks to heal with treatment. A grade 3 (severe) MCL tear can take six weeks or more to heal with treatment. If you undergo surgery to fix your MCL tear, it could take longer.”
Ten Hag was unable to provide the exact details of Martinez’s setback but described the situation as ‘very bad’ for the player and club.
“I can’t tell the detail, but it seems bad,” he said. “We have to wait for the detail and making the right diagnosis in the coming days. We’ll see what is going on. In this moment, we’re very sad about this but, hopefully, it’s not too bad. We can only pray.
“We have to find out in the next days what is the diagnosis. It’s very bad for him and very bad for the team. He’s just returning and is a very important part for us. Last season, when he fell out, I felt our performances dropped a level. We have to avoid that because we have a good squad and centre-backs who can fill in. But he definitely brings spirit to the team, apart from his footballing abilities.
“It’s disappointing for the team and especially for Licha. It’s so frustrating, he worked hard to return now for two games. It looks like he has to sit some games out injured again but let’s stay positive at this moment. Hopefully, it’s not too bad but we have to wait.”
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