Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that Eric Bailly could return for Manchester United soon as they prepare for one of the most important spells of their season.
United take on West Brom on Sunday, looking to continue their unbeaten record away from home in the Premier League this season.
They have had time to prepare for the game, which Solskjaer has been grateful for. However, they will be without one of their key players in Paul Pogba.
There is better news on the injury front, though, for defender Bailly, who has not played for three weeks.
“We’ve had a rare opportunity to do a little bit of training and some recovery, because you’ve got Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and not a game until Sunday, so that’s been a rarity for us really,” Solskjaer said.
“Paul is still out. Eric has been training so that’s a boost for us.”
While United go into the game as favourites, they cannot afford to underestimate a West Brom team fighting for survival.
Indeed, Solskjaer knows the importance of the game – and those that will follow in upcoming weeks.
“Of course it’s an important game for us this weekend,” Solskjaer said. “And it’s an important spell.
“Every game you tick one off and it’s less and less possibility to catch up points on the teams in front of you.
“That’s what we want to do and that’s what we’re here to do. Sunday is a big one for us in that respect, to get back to winning ways.
“The two points dropped against Everton was disappointing when it’s the last kick of the ball, but we bounced back really well in the cup against West Ham. We’re through, we’re in the quarters and that was a step in the right direction. Another clean sheet.”
Solskjaer explains promotion of young duo
As part of their preparations in training this week, United have welcomed Shola Shoretire into the senior group.
The attacker has been performing well for their under-23s and there are high hopes for his future. Solskjaer explained why the club has decided to promote both Shoretire and fellow academy player Hannibal Mejbri.
“We’ve moved Shola up with us,” he said. “Hannibal will join us and we will keep them with us for a while.
“I think it’s the next step of their development and we’ve just got to take the hit on them when they play for the reserves. They have to travel by themselves, so they move into our bubble.
“I think that’s a nice step for them and well deserved because they’ve done really well.”