Van Gaal: Blind's knee injury not bad as originally feared

BY foxsports • November 20, 2014

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal says Daley Blind's knee injury is not as bad as first feared.  

Blind was injured in Holland's 6-0 win over Latvia on Sunday and reports suggested the Dutchman might be out of action for up to six months, but van Gaal is optimistic the midfielder will be back much sooner. Speaking at a press conference ahead of Saturday's trip to Arsenal van Gaal said: "He has a brace on his knee, 10 days rest and he will have another scan and that will say more about the injury.

"It's not as bad as the doctors thought after the match but it shall be a long story I believe, but not six months or so."

After the match Holland manager Guus Hiddink had given a grim assessment of Blind's injury saying: "I'm rather negative. I think it's a medial ligament that is twisted, it might be a rupture."

The United boss also revealed that winger Angel Di Maria and goalkeeper David de Gea will be fit for the Sky Live clash at the Emirates, but England defender Luke Shaw is a doubt after suffering a hamstring strain. Winger di Maria was taken to hospital for x-rays after being caught on the foot by former United winger Nani during Argentina's friendly with Portugal at Old Trafford while de Gea dislocated a finger while away with Spain.

Van Gaal said: "Di Maria has trained today normally so I don't think there is a question mark, De Gea is good - no problem. Luke Shaw, who felt a tight hamstring, is also a question mark."

And defender Michael Carrick will face a late fitness test after he suffered a groin problem while with the England squad for the European Qualifier against Slovenia. "I have to wait for how he reacts  and training sessions tomorrow (Friday) but I expect that he is also ready to play," added van Gaal.

Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Jonny Evans, Rafael and Radamel Falcao all missed the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace two weeks ago, and it looks like they will miss Saturday's game against the Gunners too. When asked whether any player who missed the Palace match was available for this weekend, van Gaal seemed to suggest it would be highly unlikely.

"It's difficult to say if anyone is back because we have to wait for tomorrow's training session to decide if players are coming back," he said. "But the players are not coming back in the squad - that's a different thing. My philosophy is that you have to train at least one week with the squad, but better two."

On-loan striker Falcao has played down fears that his current injury problem is related to the knee surgery he underwent last season. and he could return to training on Sunday according to van Gaal.

"It is a bit frustrating. I did take a small injury to my calf, which is something that I need to be careful with," he said. "I am getting better, I feel well and I hope to come back to the pitch soon. It is disappointing that I can't play, but I have to be calm and recover because that is important to help the team when I return to the games."