'Tough...' - Rashford opens up about his injury nightmares ahead of Carabao Cup final
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Manchester United star Marcus Rashford opened up about his past injury nightmares ahead of the club’s Carabao Cup encounter against Newcastle United.
Fresh from having dispatched Barcelona in the Europa League, United turn their attention to Sunday’s Carabao Cup final against Newcastle at Wembley.
While the Old Trafford club enter the match having not won silverware of any kind since 2017, it will be their opposition’s first showpiece event since the turn of the Millenium.
United have won 40 major trophies since the Magpies' last major domestic silverware, some 68 years ago. And while United go into the game as favourites, they will be sweating on the fitness of star man Rashford.
The 25-year-old sustained an ankle injury in the second half of United’s 2-1 win over Barcelona on Thursday night and was substituted in the 88th minute.
Ten Hag admitted he was unsure whether Rashford would recover in time for the final, adding that the England international would be assessed in the build-up to the game.
Rashford’s past injury woes
Despite his latest minor injury setback, Rashford has put years of fitness problems behind him this season to become United’s top scorer.
Last term Rashford scored just five goals in 32 appearances; this season he has 24 in 36. Moreover, Sunday’s brace in a 3-0 victory against Leicester City took him to a career-high count for a campaign.
Speaking to the Guardian, the forward credited his resurgence to having finally overcome a series of injury problems.
Rashford explained: “I don’t think anyone – apart from the people at the club – knows how long I was dealing with those [injury] issues.
“It wasn’t just one season, it was a period of time where every day was tough and you have to sacrifice [yourself].
“I’ve always been one to be out on the pitch as much as I can – that’s where I get the happiness.”
He had long been playing with pain from a shoulder injury that was finally operated on in the summer of 2021. Before then Rashford sustained a back fracture in January 2020, which ruled him out of the next three months of a campaign paused by Covid.