Eric Bailly has posted on social media about his latest condition | Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images
Manchester United defender Eric Bailly has played down reports that he suffered a hamstring injury while in action for Ivory Coast on Thursday night, insisting he was withdrawn during the international friendly against Belgium because of tiredness.
Bailly started the game in Brussels, which eventually finished 1-1 thanks to a late Franck Kessie equaliser, but appeared to be clutching the back of his right leg a few minutes before he went off.
Eric Bailly was reported to have suffered a hamstring injury while playing for Ivory Coast | Jean Catuffe/Getty Images
His subsequent withdrawal from the game, with Les Elephants losing 1-0 at that stage, was therefore interpreted to be as a result of a suspected hamstring problem.
Any such injury could have meant a minimum of three weeks on the sidelines to recover, a further blow to a player who has missed more football than he has played in the four years since joining United in 2016, and a worsening of the squad’s ongoing defensive crisis.
However, it does not appear to be as serious as feared, with Bailly taking to Instagram to set the record straight and clarify incorrect assumptions.
“Thank you for worrying about me but I’m fine, [it’s] just fatigue,” he posted to his stories.
Eric Bailly says he’s fine and his reported hamstring injury last night was just ‘fatigue’. #MUFC pic.twitter.com/aNHOZWUgmc
— Jamie Spencer ?? (@jamiespencer155) October 9, 2020
Ivory Coast have a follow up friendly against Japan in Utrecht, Netherlands on Tuesday, although it remains to be seen whether Bailly will now be rested for that as a result.
All being well, the 26-year-old should be fit when United face Newcastle in the Premier League on 17 October. Just as it was two years ago when United under Jose Mourinho faced Newcastle desperate for points, the game has become a must-win in light of the disastrous start to the new season.
United have leaked 11 goals at the back in just three Premier League games so far, with Bailly and Harry Maguire both way off the pace as Tottenham ran riot at Old Trafford last weekend.
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