Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Marcus Rashford has gone away to “reflect” on whether to have surgery at the end of the month.
Forward Rashford saw a specialist last week and feels an operation is the only way of dealing with a shoulder problem that has troubled him for seven months.
However, it appears Solskjaer and his staff are not as convinced.
Speaking after United’s 2-1 pre-season win at Derby, Solskjaer said a final decision is still to be taken.
“Marcus went away to reflect on it a little bit,” said the United boss. “We have to take the best course of action for him and the club. We still need to address it with the experts.”
Tahith Chong, who will spend the season on loan at Birmingham, and Uruguayan teenager Facundo Pellistri, 19, scored the goals at Derby for Solskjaer’s side, which was shorn of its Euro 2020 stars. Colin Kazim-Richards replied for Wayne Rooney’s Championship outfit.
Two of the most eye-catching United performances came from new signing Tom Heaton and Jesse Lingard, who has returned to the club from a loan spell at West Ham, which was so impressive it took him to the brink of a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the Euros.
After a quiet start following his introduction as a second-half substitute, Lingard gradually made an impact, hitting the bar with one excellent effort.
“Jesse wants to fight for his place,” added Solskjaer, who selected the 28-year-old for only two cup games last term before he left the club in January.
“What he did last season, that is the true Jesse. We showed towards the end of the season that we lacked some options at times and Jesse is in the plans at the moment.”
Keeper Heaton, 35, made excellent saves from Curtis Davies and Phil Jagielka on his debut after returning to his first professional club from Aston Villa to provide even more competition for David de Gea and Dean Henderson.
“Tom is here to give the others a bit of a challenge,” said Solskjaer. “He wants to play as well. He has been unlucky with injuries otherwise he would have been in the England squad.”
Covid-hit Newcastle lose to York
Meanwhile, Newcastle’s pre-season began in ignominious fashion as they fell to a 1-0 loss at National League North side York City.
Michael Duckworth scored the only goal at York Community Stadium with a header in the 87th minute as Newcastle striker Joelinton hobbled off with an injury in the first half.
The defeat came after goalkeeper Karl Darlow tested positive for coronavirus and back-up stoppers Mark Gillespie and Freddie Woodman – who were identified as close contacts – were also ruled out of the game.
Academy graduate Dan Langley, 20, deputised for Darlow as Steve Bruce’s men, who included stars like Allan Saint-Maximin, were upset.
Newcastle had planned to split their first team for simultaneous friendlies against York and Harrogate Town, but to avoid mixing, the senior players travelled to York while an Under-23 side took on the League Two outfit at the EnviroVent Stadium.