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Progress & potential return date for Man Utd striker


Erik ten Hag has finally been given the centre-forward he’s been screaming out for all summer in the form of Rasmus Hojlund, but the striker won’t be able to make an immediate impact for Manchester United.

Having been unveiled at Old Trafford before United’s pre-season clash with RC Lens, supporters have already got their first glimpse of Hojlund. His £72m move has understandably attracted a lot of attention, and fans are desperate to see the big Dane in action.

They will have to wait though, as Hojlund arrived at Old Trafford nursing a minor back injury and may spend some time in the treatment room. Ten Hag will be hoping to have the 20-year-old fit and firing sooner rather than later, but he may not be so lucky.

Rasmus Hojlund, Zan Karnicnik

United will want their big summer signing fit soon / Jurij Kodrun/GettyImages

Speaking ahead of Man Utd’s opening fixture of the Premier League season against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Ten Hag did not shed an awful lot of light on the exact time frame of Hojlund’s return.

He stated: “As we said previously, he had a small issue and he is not on the levels where our players are [at] in this moment. So now we have to train him. So the prognosis is difficult, always to say. We are confident and we are positive.”

There have been some reports suggesting that the injury is actually more serious than United are letting on, with Hojlund perhaps having suffered a stress response in his back that could lead to a fracture in such a young player.

If that proves to be the case, then Hojlund could be out for months, potentially missing a sizeable number of games for his new club. If the injury is less serious, it could be just a few games before the striker finds his way into the United squad.

In Hojlund’s absence, Ten Hag will have to revert to the same attacking options he utilised last season, with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial set to fight it out for that central striker position against Wolves, although an injury to the latter may force him to take residence on the bench.

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Rasmus Hojlund

Hojlund has been unable to train fully with United / Emilio Andreoli/GettyImages

Hojlund did not feature for Atalanta in any of their pre-season games, but that may have been due to his uncertain future at the club rather than because of injury.

The youngster is still not training with his Manchester United teammates and is currently conducting individual training at Carrington. This would suggest that maybe his injury concerns are not as bad as once feared, although he is still clearly some way off full fitness.

Hojlund has not suffered any serious injuries during his short career so far, and Ten Hag will be hopeful of keeping it that way at Old Trafford.

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