Manchester United left-back Alex Telles has been ruled out until September with an ankle injury suffered during pre-season, which threatens to leave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer short on options when the new Premier League campaign begins in less than three weeks.
After twisting his ankle during a session ahead of United’s recent friendly against QPR, it was hoped that the Brazilian might only be a short-term absentee.
But manager Solskjaer has now revealed that further tests show the problem is worse than suspected, which could force Telles to miss at least the first two weeks of the season.
“Unfortunately, it’s worse news on Alex Telles than we hoped for,” Solskjaer told the club’s in-house media. “His ankle injury is a little bit more severe than we hoped and he’ll be out for a little spell at least, the whole of August I would think.”
That would rule him out of the rest of pre-season, as well as United’s first three Premier League games against Leeds, Southampton and Wolves, leading to the September international break.
Following a £15m transfer from Porto in October, Telles provided back-up and crucial competition for Luke Shaw last season. But with Shaw still on holiday after representing England in the final of Euro 2020 a little over two weeks ago, Brandon Williams is suddenly the only first-team left-back.
Shaw was voted United players’ player of the year last season by his teammates and was named in the PFA Premier League team of the year thanks to his outstanding performances.
A three-week holiday would see Shaw report for duty next week, although given his past fitness troubles, there have been concerns since it was revealed he was playing with broken ribs in the latter stages of Euro 2020. He had already suffered a wrist ligament injury before the tournament began and played with noticeable strapping on it throughout the competition.
For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!