Report claims to end mystery over Man Utd man’s national team absence

Date published: Wednesday 31st March 2021 9:19 - Jonny Whitfield

Dan James Victor Lindelof Anthony Martial

Manchester United and Sweden defender Victor Lindelof has cut short his international break to rest his back amid ongoing injury concerns, a report claims.

Lindelof has suffered with a back problem all season, despite remaining a regular starter. While he has played 22 of United’s 29 Premier League games, he revealed earlier this season that he often plays through pain. As such, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has sometimes chosen to play Eric Bailly alongside Harry Maguire.

Lindelof also remains an important figure for his country and met up with his international colleagues for their latest camp.

The 26-year-old played in Sweden’s first two World Cup qualifiers, as they beat Georgia last Thursday and Kosovo on Sunday.

However, he has travelled back to Manchester. Assistant Sweden manager Peter Wettergren told a press conference on Monday: “He will leave us tonight for private, personal reasons.”

According to Sportbladet, though, there is more to Wettergren’s claims.

The source claims that United and Sweden officials have agreed that Lindelof should rest his back.

The officials fear that he could aggravate the injury if he carries on. Indeed, with Sweden having won their opening two qualifiers, United’s Premier League run-in is now his bigger priority.

Lindelof said of his back injury earlier this season: “I’ve been struggling a bit with my back. I’ve been having it for the last couple of months.

“I missed a few games as well and I am just trying to manage it in a good way, I missed a few games and I came back slowly.

“I played one game and then I got to rest again, it felt a bit better. It started to come back a little bit but I’m just trying to manage it in a good way, do the recovery right and then treatment. [I’m] just trying to manage it in a good way.”

Lindelof not alone with Man Utd injury

Meanwhile, Lindelof’s United colleague Anthony Martial also has an injury concern to deal with.

The French striker came off midway through his country’s win over Kazakhstan on Sunday with a knee problem.

Manager Didier Deschamps told a press conference on Tuesday ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Bosnia and Herzegovina: “Anthony has a small issue on his knee. Nothing is decided yet.

“He won’t be taking part in the training session a bit later. We’ll see tomorrow. Anything serious has been dismissed.

“We’ve run some tests, but there’s still the pain, and having travelled as long as we have, that hasn’t helped.”

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