Raphael Varane suffered a hamstring injury during Manchester United’s dramatic 2-2 draw against Atalanta in the Champions League on Tuesday.
The defender, 28, had only just returned from a groin injury in the previous match against Tottenham where his calming presence helped earn United their first clean sheet in 10 matches.
But he only lasted 38 minutes against the Italian side before having to be substituted due to a hamstring problem, while Mason Greenwood was brought on and United switched from a back-three to a traditional four.
And manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s hastiness in rushing the French international back out of desperation to achieve results may have resulted in him getting prematurely injured again.
Solskjaer: "Varane felt his hamstring and I didn’t want to take a risk. On the first assessment it doesn’t look good but we will assess him again tomorrow.
“He’s been such a calming influence and then we’ve lost him, but that’s football.”
The Red Devils were 1-0 down before Varane’s injury but a Cristiano Ronaldo goal on the edge of half-time brought them level.
Duvan Zapata restored the lead for Atalanta, setting the stage for another incredible stoppage-time goal by Ronaldo, who rifled the ball into the net with an outside-of-the-box volley.
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Solskjaer was majorly impressed by the fight his players showed, having been criticised from all angles after the shock recent 5-0 defeat to Liverpool.
He said: "Nobody can question the character of the players, they don't give in. We made a few changes and they worked.
“The goal was a proper team goal with great quality on the passing so that was the first moment we played the football that we should do."
Varane is set to miss the Manchester derby on Saturday along with Victor Lindelof, who picked up a knock in training on Monday.
Harry Maguire and Bailly are expected to be the chosen pairing as Solskjaer faces Premier League champions Manchester City in what is potentially the most important game of his management career.
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