Manchester United are facing heavy criticism after the full extent of Marcus Rashford's injuries emerged.
After the FA Cup third-round replay over Wolves, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had admitted the forward was a doubt for Sunday's trip to Liverpool, which ultimately ended in a 2-0 defeat.
By the weekend, it was clear that the prognosis was much more severe than Solskjaer had anticipated.
In the Wolves game, Rashford had been brought on despite his manager knowing he was unfit.
The 22-year-old lasted just 16 minutes before being replaced by Jesse Lingard but inexplicably, he played on for a full five minutes after initially going down hurt following a clash with Matt Doherty.
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United's failure to replace Romelu Lukaku in the summer has led to an over-reliance on their most prolific goalscorer, who has already contributed 19 goals and five assists in all competitions this season.
That strategy has now spectacularly backfired and what is more, the player himself has been put under huge strain.
The Telegraph have divulged some further details about the England international's fitness and it does not reflect well on the club's medical staff at all.
Rashford has a double stress fracture in his back following the 1-0 win over Wolves, but his problems were already acute in the 4-0 thrashing of Norwich on January 11.
During an interview with Ryan Giggs that weekend, he was reportedly in so much pain he couldn't sit down and had to stand up for large segments of it. All season, he has been using a Melmak device which is meant to ease the pain of the back issues which have troubled him for several years.
Solskjaer now admits he had a single stress fracture before he played in the FA Cup tie, during which it was made significantly worse.
That is not Rashford's only injury either. He has also been playing with some floating bone in his ankle for 11 months, an issue which was caused by a Jordan Henderson challenge in the 0-0 draw with Liverpool in February 2019.
During his time off, he will undergo an operation to remove the bone.
His manager is now being slammed by several pundits for putting United's on-field needs ahead of a young player's health.
"Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he knew Marcus Rashford was struggling and played him against Wolves - now he's out for three months," Ian Wright said on BBC Radio 5 Live, quoted by the Mail.
"Solskjaer is under intense pressure to get United back where they were and he's thought about himself before he thought about the player. Solskjaer has put himself above Marcus Rashford's health.
"Now, one of their most promising and most important players is out and that has to come to the manager's door."
That may be true, but Solskjaer is not the only one to blame. It's the board's mismanagement which have meant he has so few options up front, particularly as they did not include a recall clause in Alexis Sanchez's loan agreement.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has also expressed his concern at the number of games played over the festive period, with Harry Kane also a high-profile doubt for Euro 2020 following a hamstring tear.
Rashford has featured more than any other Premier League player since he made his debut almost four years ago and he has been spearheading United as they played eight games inside 28 days.
Harry Maguire might sympathise as the centre-back ploughs on with a small hip muscle tear.
Wherever the blame lies, United's failure to rest their star man has now left them with bigger problems than ever.News Now - Sport News