Matteo Darmian and Chris Smalling are facing spells on the sidelines after suffering hamstring and groin injuries in Manchester United’s 3-2 defeat at Wolfsburg.
Darmian was withdrawn before half-time with his injury, but Smalling was forced to play on after hurting his groin after United had already used all three of their substitutes.
Van Gaal said the centre-back’s injury played a part in Naldo’s winning goal for Wolfsburg, which came just two minutes after Josuha Guilavogui’s own goal had made it 2-2 and momentarily put United on course for the last 16.
“Matteo Darmian has a hamstring injury and Smalling probably a groin injury,”Van Gaal said. “Smalling could not jump at the moment of the set plays and that goal was also because of that.
“He had to give it (defensive responsibility) to another player and that’s always a question of communication and quality. With Naldo, we knew in advance that he was a very important header for them.”
While it was too early for Van Gaal to speculate how long Darmian and Smalling will be out for, the Dutchman is not expecting to have either player available for Saturday’s Premier League trip to to Bournemouth.
“I don’t know, it’s happened this evening, but normally they are out for Saturday,” he said.