Tyrell Malacia will not return from injury until “early next year” a statement by Manchester United has revealed.
In an update provided on the club’s website, United stated the Dutch defender had “suffered a setback during his rehabilitation” which required further surgery.
While the operation was “successfully completed” it has pushed back Malacia’s return until early 2024, with the left-back continuing his rehabilitation at Carrington.
It constitutes another frustrating chapter in Malacia’s season which had appeared to be improving last month. There had been hopes he may return by the end of November after having been spotted training on grass.
This recent setback has put an end to this optimism, however.
Malacia’s initial injury was during the club’s pre-season tour of America and the defender is yet to play a single minute this term as a result. This absence was compounded by a similarly impactful injury to Luke Shaw, with the England fullback having only recently returned to first-team action in the past few weeks.
United were forced to agree a hastily-arranged loan deal for Sergio Reguilon on the final day of the summer transfer window to provide cover for both left-back’s unavailability.
The injury crisis has been so pervasive at Old Trafford this season, however, that even Reguilon was ruled out with injury a few weeks after making his debut.
Erik ten Hag has, at times, been forced to play Victor Lindelof or Sofyan Amrabat at left-back. It’s little wonder why Marcus Rashford’s form has plummeted to pre-Ten Hag levels this season without any support from behind him.
Furthermore, the timing of Malacia’s injury has been doubly cruel as Shaw’s absence would normally have been a golden opportunity for the Dutchman, who has often fulfilled the role of understudy to his team-mate during his time in Manchester.
Instead, Malacia has been forced to share a spot in the treatment room with Shaw, rather than capitalise upon the pitch in his stead.
This update, therefore, represents a continuation of the defender’s rotten luck with Ten Hag likely wondering what he has done to anger the footballing gods such is the barrage of injuries his squad have been inflicted with – truly a plague of maladies.