Harry Maguire: Manchester United captain suffers ankle ligament damage

Harry Maguire
Maguire was wearing a large protective boot on his ankle at Old Trafford on Tuesday night

Manchester United and England defender Harry Maguire has suffered ankle ligament damage, says Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Solskjaer said he was "hopeful" Maguire would play again this season - with Euro 2020 starting next month.

The 28-year-old was using crutches and wearing a protective boot in the stands at Old Trafford on Tuesday as his side lost 2-1 to Leicester City.

Maguire will now aim to be fit for the Europa League final on 26 May.

Speaking after the Leicester game, Solskjaer said that Maguire is unlikely to play in any of United's three remaining Premier League games.

He added: "We'll do everything we can to get him ready for the Europa League final."

United play Villarreal in the final on 26 May, a day after England manager Gareth Southgate names his Euro 2020 squad.

Maguire suffered the injury in United's win at Aston Villa on Sunday.

"Obviously we've had scans and the good news is there's no fracture," Solskjaer said.

"[There is] ligament damage and hopefully we'll see him again this season. Hopefully ready for the final."

Tuesday's match against Leicester was the first top-flight match Maguire had missed since joining United in 2019.

Speaking on BT Sport, former United captain Rio Ferdinand said: "When he walked off that pitch, his heart would have been in his mouth thinking: Am I going to be ready?

"He's got the first big European cup final that he's going to be involved in coming up.

"I've had ankle ligament problems before and you can't mess about with them. You're either fit or you're not. There's no real in between.

"The problem he's got is that if he does go and play and forces himself in [for the final] as he might do as he's captain, he's risking himself for the Euros. It's a massive call."

Analysis

Phil McNulty, chief football writer

England manager Gareth Southgate will be desperately hoping Harry Maguire has an uncomplicated return to full fitness after suffering ankle ligament damage at Aston Villa.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer delivered a cautiously optimistic initial medical bulletin on his captain but it will still leave some anxiety in the England camp with the Euros starting on 13 June.

The 28-year-old has been the bedrock of England's defence under Southgate since he emerged as one of the stars of the run to the World Cup semi-final in Russia in 2018.

Maguire is even more important given the England's vulnerability in that area with Liverpool's Joe Gomez out, John Stones working his way back on to the international stage and the likes of Tyrone Mings and Conor Coady never having sampled the unique pressures of a major tournament.

Southgate will rely on Maguire for experience and leadership, so he will be monitoring his recovery closely and hoping for no setbacks.

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