The long-awaited return to training for Tyrell Malacia is finally upon us, but the left-back is still on the road to making his Premier League comeback.
At the age of 24, Malacia has yet to grace the pitch for Manchester United in the current season due to a lingering knee injury. This has created a left-back shortage for Erik ten Hag, with Luke Shaw also sidelined with an injury.
The club tried to address this issue by relying on loan acquisitions, Sergio Reguilion and Sofyan Amrabat.
Initially, United faced a dilemma in determining the appropriate treatment for Malacia’s injury. It’s believed they explored the use of injections to alleviate the discomfort, but it became apparent that surgery was the most viable course of action. The Netherlands international now has his sights set on a return to full first-team training.
On Monday, Malacia paid a visit to United’s Carrington training ground, engaging in light ball work independently from the primary group. Players typically progress to light training when they are within approximately a month of making their return to action, which is surely music to Ten Hag’s ears.
As reported by the Manchester Evening News, there is a possibility that Malacia could be available for selection as early as next month. Initially, there were fears that he might be sidelined until the New Year, missing out on the busy Christmas period and the crucial Champions League group stage matches.
Malacia, who emerged from the ranks of Feyenoord before joining United in July 2022, made a significant impact last season by featuring in 39 matches across all competitions under Ten Hag’s tutelage. He served as Shaw’s understudy and played a pivotal role in their Carabao Cup victory and their journey to the FA Cup final.
The Dutch left-back’s most recent competitive outing was for his national team in June, when the Netherlands faced a 4-2 defeat against Croatia in their Nations League semi-final. It is understood that he first experienced his knee issue during last season’s Premier League campaign.
In August, Ten Hag conveyed to the press that Malacia’s recovery would take some time. The United manager is eager to have him back in the squad, especially as Shaw is nursing a muscle injury. Shaw, much like Malacia, is expected to make his return next month.
Despite the hopeful returns of players like Malacia and Shaw, United still has several unavailable due to injuries and suspensions. Casemiro, who missed the 2-1 win against Sheffield United due to a knock, is now fit.
However, he will not participate in Tuesday’s Champions League clash against Copenhagen, having been sent off in United’s previous European encounter against Galatasaray.
Reguilion, who is recovering from a hamstring injury, may also miss Tuesday’s game, despite recently returning to fitness. Ten Hag elaborated on Reguilion’s status, saying, “Sergio was fit on Friday, trained all last week, and yesterday he was part of training.
Today he will train, and we have to assess if he is ready, game fit, and can be involved in the squad. We have to see if he is fit enough to be available.”