Erik ten Hag has revealed Christian Eriksen suffered an ankle injury during Manchester United’s 3-1 win over Reading on Saturday night.
The Danish international was forced to come off just before the hour mark in the FA Cup fourth-round tie after a robust challenge from Andy Carroll. Eriksen was evidently limping as he made his way off the pitch and a video on social media showed the midfielder leaving Old Trafford on crutches after the game.
But speaking in his post-match press conference, the United manager said he will not know the full extent of the problem until the beginning of next week. “It is always difficult to say in this moment, so short after the game finished, but it is an ankle and we have to see what is the diagnosis,” he told reporters. “It will be a minimum of 24 hours before we know that and then I can say more.”
The injury for Eriksen will be a concern for Ten Hag given the importance of the former Tottenham Hotspur and Brentford man in United’s set-up. Indeed, Eriksen has missed just one game in all competitions this season - a 0-0 draw against Newcastle United in October - but looks unlikely to be available for Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Nottingham Forest.
The 30-year-old has formed a dependable partnership with Casemiro in midfield since their summer arrivals, with the latter breaking the deadlock for United on Saturday, before making it a brace after 58 minutes thanks to a long-range effort in front of the Stretford End.
The Brazilian was once again among the standout performers at Old Trafford and Ten Hag was asked after the win over Reading if even he’s been surprised by Casemiro’s impact. “I expected, yeah, because when you see his profile, if you see his performances in the last years for Real Madrid, that is magnificent,” he replied.
“They play in such a high level, they win four or five Champions Leagues. That is the highest trophy you can win in club football. He had such a massive impact.
“The first one, I think, who was always in the starting XI was always Casemiro for every manager at Real Madrid. You can understand that he also was going to have that impact in English football.”
Fred added a third goal eight minutes after Casemiro’s second against Reading, meaning all of United’s goals scored on a wet and windy night at Old Trafford came from Brazilians. “It is no Copacabana,” remarked Ten Hag. “We had three Brazilian goalscorers because Fred was the 3-0.
“I was pleased with their performance. I was pleased with the performance of the team in the first 60 minutes. We played in the opponent’s half, stayed in the opponents’ half apart from one big chance we conceded. That’s a point of criticism, but the rest, I thought the way we played, the formation and the movement getting behind the lines was quite good and creating chances.”
The win means United join the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City and Leeds United in Monday’s draw for the fifth round of the FA Cup.