Emerging star Rasmus Hojlund’s anticipated debut might have to wait as an undisclosed injury sidelines him for potentially the opening six weeks of the 2023-24 campaign.
Amidst the excitement of Hojlund’s arrival from Atalanta BC, the Denmark international penned a five-year deal with the Red Devils, igniting hopes of a prompt appearance on the field. While speculation had initially hinted at a possible debut in a pre-season clash against Athletic Bilbao, an unforeseen injury has dashed these expectations, casting a shadow over the young talent’s early-season prospects.
Red Devils’ head coach Erik ten Hag confirmed the unfortunate news, revealing that Hojlund’s injury will restrict his participation during the initial stages of the season. According to reports from The Mirror, the Danish forward might be absent for a significant chunk of the opening months due to a stress response hotspot in his back, an issue typically requiring around three months to heal.
Although there’s no cause for long-term concern about Hojlund’s fitness, the situation requires cautious handling. The intricacies of such injuries demand careful management to avoid escalating into stress fractures, a scenario Manchester United is keen to prevent.
The road to recovery is paved with rest, implying that Hojlund’s absence could extend over crucial early-season fixtures. His training during pre-season notwithstanding, it’s unlikely he will be ready for competitive play twice a week, emphasizing the club’s commitment to his long-term fitness.
Hojlund’s arrival at Old Trafford comes on the back of a productive spell with Atalanta, where he notched 10 goals and contributed four assists in 34 appearances during the 2022-23 campaign. In an unveiling interview, the forward described himself as “physical, passionate, and fast,” showcasing his versatility on the field.
As the Premier League curtain rises, Manchester United could find themselves without Hojlund’s services for their initial fixtures against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Tottenham Hotspur, Nottingham Forest, Arsenal, and Brighton & Hove Albion. The road to recovery is paved with uncertainty, but United fans will undoubtedly be keeping a watchful eye on Hojlund’s journey from the sidelines, eager to witness the talented youngster’s eventual rise onto the grand stage of English football.