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Blow for Man Utd as Bailly to miss 'four to five months' with knee injury

The defender may not play again this year for Manchester United after undergoing surgery

Manchester United centre-back Eric Bailly
Manchester United centre-back Eric Bailly

A KNEE INJURY will sideline Manchester United defender Eric Bailly for the opening months of the season.

The 25-year-old centre-back suffered the injury in a pre-season friendly against Tottenham in China and underwent surgery on the issue.

Having also battled knee problems during an injury-plagued 2018-19 season, the French defender may have to wait until January before returning to action.

“Eric has had an operation and will be out for four to five months,” said Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after watching his side scrape past Norwegian outfit Kristiansund 1-0 in Oslo

“Hopefully we’ll have him back around Christmas time,” said the manager as the club’s links with Leicester’s Harry Maguire drag on.

Solskjaer acknowledged his side were fortunate to post their fifth straight pre-season victory after Juan Mata went down in the penalty area in the 91st minute.

Mata appeared to make the most of little-to-no contact from Andreas Vaikla, the third goalkeeper used by Kristiansund during the match, before scoring from the spot.

“They held their own. They defended really well,” Solskjaer told MUTV.

“Of course we couldn’t really break them down. They defended well and their ‘keepers, all three of them, they did really well. But it’s one of these games that we might get in the league … sometimes it’s the 91st minute, sometimes it’s the first minute.

“The goal was very good… quality pass, great run and you’re happy winning the game.”

Solskjaer’s son, Noah, appeared off the bench for Kristiansund in the dying stages, while the manager was flanked by his youngest son Elijah throughout the contest.

Asked if it was a proud night for his family, the United boss added: “I think so. Noah makes his debut for them in front of 28,000. It’s not very often a Norwegian boy does [that]. Elijah next to me, he enjoyed it. That’s what it about.”

United play AC Milan in the International Champions Cup on Saturday.

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