Injured Martinez makes risky decision

Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez has been called up to the Argentina squad, despite still recovering from a knee injury.

The 26-year-old damaged his medial collateral ligament against West Ham in February and was sidelined for at least eight weeks. However, the Argentine could be set for a return to action sooner than expected.

Martinez is set to join the Argentina camp ahead of two international friendlies against El Salvador on March 23 and Costa Rica on March 27. Both of those matches are taking place in the United States and Martinez is expected to finish his rehabilitation with his national team.

Martinez has endured a difficult season after he sustained a foot injury back in September. That caused the former Ajax centre-back to miss four months of action before he returned to the fold in January.

He played only three Premier League matches for United before injuring his knee during the latter stages of their 3-0 win over West Ham last month. It’s claimed that his recovery has been going to plan and was not expected to make a first-team comeback until at least the Red Devils’ trip to Brentford on March 30.

In the immediate aftermath of Martinez suffering the injury, Erik ten Hag said: “It doesn’t look good. There is a bad concern. We have to wait for a few days for the diagnosis.

“He is very sad, very disappointed. We all feel really with him. First of all, it is a personal disaster when it is really bad, but also for the team it is really bad because he definitely brings us a lot.”

And while United are allowing him to link up with his national team, they aren’t expecting him to play. Should he appear and get injured, there will likely be fury at Old Trafford, both with player and Argentina bosses.

United are back in action when they face Liverpool in the FA Cup quarter-final on Sunday. With Martinez still out, Ten Hag is set to be boosted by the return of Harry Maguire, who has been sidelined for a couple of weeks. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Rasmus Hojlund could also return.

Following their 2-0 win over Everton on Saturday, Ten Hag said: “Hopefully, some return. Aaron Wan-Bissaka was, yesterday, on the pitch. We expect also Harry Maguire back in the squad next week. Rasmus Hojlund has good hope he will make it as well.” – Mirror

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