The games Lisandro Martinez will miss after Man Utd confirm major injury blow

Manchester United confirmed on Monday that Lisandro Martinez suffered knee ligament damage during the 3-0 win against West Ham.
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Lisandro Martinez will miss a minimum of Manchester United's next eight matches after confirmation the defender suffered knee ligament damage during Sunday's 3-0 win at home to West Ham.

Martinez was forced off during the second half of Sunday's Premier League clash at Old Trafford after a tangle with West Ham defender Vladimir Coufal. The 26-year-old was clearly distressed and holding his knee in the aftermath, while having to be consoled by teammates during the on-pitch assessments.

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He did come back onto the pitch but went to ground again shortly after and limped off, to be replaced by Raphael Varane. Manager Erik ten Hag described the injury as a 'personal disaster' for Martinez and confirmation came on Monday evening that the Argentinian will be out for 'at least eight weeks'.

The injury is to his medial collateral ligament and while there is no need for surgery, his absence for the next eight weeks comes at a crucial time. That timeframe would see Martinez return in April, potentially in time for the trip to Chelsea on April 3.

Between now and then, United have seven Premier League games in their schedule including trips to Aston Villa and Manchester City. There are also home games against Fulham, Everton and Sheffield United, as well as matches at Luton Town and Brentford.

In addition, an FA Cup fifth-round tie against one of Bristol City or Nottingham Forest - who play their replay on Wednesday - is on the cards, and hopefully a quarter-final in mid-March.

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Martinez has only made 10 appearances for United this season and returned from a near four-month absence a fortnight ago. For this reason, it is imperative the defender is not rushed back and so his absence beyond the start of April is not unlikely.

United's trip to Chelsea - the earliest possible return date for Martinez - is on a Wednesday evening and Ten Hag's side host Liverpool at Old Trafford the following Saturday. It remains to be seen whether the Argentinian could be in line for a return by that point.

Martinez will now enter his third long-term absence since arriving at United in the summer of 2022. The former Ajax man suffered a fractured metatarsal during a Europa League game against Sevilla last April and missed the end of that campaign as a result.

After returning in the summer, his foot issue resurfaced and led to another long absence during the first half of this season. He returned against Tottenham Hotspur last month and featured four times before limping off on Sunday.

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