Man Utd striker Hojlund out with muscle injury

Manchester United striker Rasmus Hojlund is expected to miss two to three weeks with a muscle injury.

United’s £72m summer signing scored for the sixth successive Premier League game in Sunday’s 2-1 win at Luton Town.

The Danish 21-year-old will miss the home league game against Fulham on Saturday and FA Cup fifth-round tie at Nottingham Forest on Wednesday.

Erik ten Hag’s side also travel to derby rivals Manchester City and host Everton over the coming fortnight.

“It is a small injury, two or three weeks. It is a risk in high-intensity training,” Ten Hag said on Friday.

“It’s not a big injury but he has to wait now.”

Hojlund has scored 13 goals in 30 appearances for United in all competitions since joining from Serie A side Atalanta on a five-year deal.

He failed to score in his first 14 Premier League games but has since hit form, scoring seven goals and contributing two assists in his past six.

Anthony Martial, United’s only other recognised striker, is sidelined following groin surgery.

Scott McTominay is the club’s second-highest goalscorer in all competitions this season, behind Hojlund, with eight goals.

United also lost left-back Luke Shaw to injury earlier in the week after he sustained a leg injury which could keep him out for months.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Lisandro Martinez, Mason Mount and Tyrell Malacia are all also out.

“Of course [the injuries are] an issue but other clubs have this and we have to deal with this,” Ten Hag said.

“I have now the feeling we can deal with it better than in autumn. It is an issue with the depth of the squad.”

Hojlund’s double against Luton secured United a fourth successive league win to leave them sixth in the table, five points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa.

‘Hojlund injury a devastating blow’

Analysis by BBC Sport’s Simon Stone

This is devastating news for Ten Hag as he looks to secure the Champions League qualification Sir Jim Ratcliffe said was key for United’s season on Wednesday.

It also raises question marks over Ten Hag’s priorities when it came to summer recruitment.

In only buying Hojlund, it meant United’s main cover as a central striker was Anthony Martial.

The Frenchman has shown neither the form nor fitness to suggest he was worth relying on when it came to helping the club in their aims for the season.

With Martial sidelined until April following groin surgery, Ten Hag needs Marcus Rashford – who has not had the greatest season – to fill the void and wide man Antony – who has been even less effective – to ‘step up’ in words he likes to use.

No one can be sure they will deliver.

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