Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez will not need surgery on the right knee injury he suffered against West Ham United on Sunday, but is expected to be sidelined for around eight weeks.
Martinez, 26, sprained his medial collateral ligament in the knee – for which recovery times can vary – during a collision with West Ham's Vladimir Coufal in the 68th minute of the match, which was seen as the best result given concerns. . The Argentine suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.
A United statement said: “Lesandro Martinez suffered an injury to the medial collateral ligament in his knee, and is expected to be out of action for at least 8 weeks.
He added: “We all wish Leccia a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him back on the pitch later in the season.”
“I can't say but it doesn't look good,” United coach Erik Ten Hag said after the 3-0 win over West Ham. “There is bad anxiety. We have to wait a few days for the diagnosis. We are doing our best to get the correct diagnosis and find out the damage.
“He's very sad, very disappointed. We all really feel for him. “First of all, it's a personal catastrophe when it's so bad, but also for the team, it's really bad because it definitely brings a lot to us.”
Martinez did not return until he missed more than three months recovering from surgery on a broken metatarsal in his foot. This was his second surgery for the problem, having previously undergone surgery in April that ended his first season with United.
The Argentine moved to United from Ajax for £47 million (now $58.9 million) in the summer of 2022, rejoining Erik ten Hag, who he coached at the Dutch club.
Martinez played 45 matches in all competitions with United last season, and missed the last nine Premier League matches due to a foot injury. He has made just 10 appearances for United this season, and the West Ham match was his seventh league start of the season.
Summary: Manchester United 3 West Ham 0 – Concern over Martinez's injury hinders victory
How big a blow will Martinez's absence deal?
Martinez started to hit his stride again after his time-out, reminding fans of the potential of this United team, so another enforced absence is cruel timing.
Ten Hag has carefully managed his return – first reintroducing him as a substitute against Tottenham Hotspur and then being taken off as a precaution at Newport and Wolverhampton Wanderers – with Martinez showing more physicality on each occasion.
At Molineux and against West Ham, Martinez showed what he could do with the ball, playing passes that changed United's style of play.
He is also seen as a team leader, constantly communicating with his teammates and trying to organize.
Martinez's bizarre fallout with Coufal means Ten Hag will have to adjust his approach once again.
United will be grateful that this new problem is not more serious, with some initial fears of anterior cruciate ligament damage. However, the club will not rush him back.
(Michael Regan/Getty Images)