Victor Lindelof has admitted he has been playing through the pain barrier at Manchester United in recent weeks.
The Swedish defender has had a mixed start to the season and was maligned by large sections of the fanbase after a woeful performance on the opening day defeat to Crystal Palace.
Lindelof’s place in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has been questioned but a handful of accomplished showings alongside Harry Maguire have proven his worth to the United boss.
Despite ongoing injury problems, Solskjaer has continued to select Lindelof whilst he nurses a back problem and the 26-year-old has admitted a few days off during the international break have been welcome.
“The back feels okay,” he told Fotbollskanalen.
“I’ve been having problems for a few weeks. I’ve struggled through the matches there’s been.
“It’s nice that I got a few days off now where there has only been treatment and I really tried to rest.”
Lindelof did not feature in Wednesday night’s friendly defeat to Denmark because of fears of being held to quarantine restrictions and each country fielded depleted teams.
But such is the demanding nature of the schedule right now, he is now joining up with his Sweden teammates ahead of Nations League matches against France and Croatia before returning to Manchester.
Players are under plenty of strain due to the congested schedule and we expect more injuries from those at elite clubs before the international break ends.
Solskjaer will be particularly wary of Lindelof’s fitness and must utilise the Swede sparingly if possible or avoid losing him for a long period heading into the hectic Christmas period.
Perhaps Axel Tuanzebe could fill in for Lindelof alongside Maguire until he feels his back is not causing as many problems.
The Reds return to action next Saturday against West Brom at Old Trafford as they look to arrest their dismal home form.