Blind and Falcao: a tale of two knee injuries for Man Utd
Defender ruled out for at least a month with ligament damage, but striker has no chronic problem say club
Knees have been the main talking point at Old Trafford this weekend after Dutch defender Daley Blind limped out of Holland's Euro 2016 qualifier against Lativa on Sunday and there was a new twist in the tale of Radamel Falcao's troublesome joint.
Blind appears likely to be out for at least a month with ligament damage, but the full extent of his injury will be determined by scans in Manchester today.
The defender, signed for £13.8m this summer, was hurt in a collision in the Dutch penalty area after 20 minutes of the match.
"The 24-year-old was able to walk off the pitch rather than be carried off on a stretcher, but after Holland’s 6-0 victory in Amsterdam, Dutch coach Guus Hiddink admitted that Blind may have suffered torn ligaments," reports the Daily Telegraph. "Initial suggestions in Holland claim that Blind may have sustained a medial ligament injury rather than a more serious cruciate ligament injury."
Blind joins goalkeeper David de Gea and Michael Carrick on the sidelines. Goalkeeper De Gea dislocated a finger in training with Spain and is a doubt for Saturday's clash with Arsenal, while Carrick was forced to pull out of the England squad with a groin strain.
However, the concerns about Blind's knee are in contrast to reports about the state of striker Falcao's knee.
The Colombian striker, who was left out of his country's squad for games against the US and Slovenia this week, was seen icing his left knee recently, prompting fears that the cruciate ligament injury that ruled him out for most of this year was still a problem.
Falcao took to Twitter to angrily reject such speculation and the Sunday Telegraph has reported that his surgeon Jose Carlos Noronha, is "annoyed" that the success of the operation has been questioned.
"Crucially there is no chronic problem with Falcao's left knee - despite claims to the contrary - and no reason why he should not return to his best," says the paper.
It explains that Falcao "worked incredibly hard on his rehab" to try and make the World Cup, but after failing to beat the odds he took some time off. That, plus his transfer to United, threw his pre-season training off schedule and he has suffered several minor injuries as a result.
"But United are not concerned about Falcao's knee. The joint is not in perfect shape but that, again, is regarded as a result of his overall lack of match fitness and not something more serious," says the paper.