Victor Lindelof admits he is having to play through pain at Manchester United, with a long-standing back complaint continuing to give him problems.
The Sweden international defender is prepared to put his body on the line for the cause, but concedes that he is having to manage his workload.
There is no obvious solution to Lindelof’s injury issues in the middle of a gruelling 2020-21 campaign, with the 26-year-old acknowledging that he is going to have to battle on for the foreseeable future – with a rescheduled European Championship to come at the end of a domestic season.
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What has been said?
Lindelof has told United’s official website on his fitness concerns: “Yeah I’ve been struggling a bit with my back. I’ve been having it for the last couple of months.
“I missed a few games as well and I am just trying to manage it in a good way. I missed a few games and I came back slowly. I played one game and then I got to rest again, it felt a bit better.
“It started to come back a little bit but I’m just trying to manage it in a good way, do the recovery right and then treatment. [I'm] just trying to manage it in a good way.”
He added: “I have been having these issues for the last couple of months but I’m still out there because I want to be playing, to help my team win games.
“That’s the most important thing for me. If I’m sore for a few days after it or in a bit of discomfort, that’s not a problem if the team wins. That’s the most important thing and I just want to be out there to help the team.”
How many games has Lindelof played this season?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has handed the Swede 30 outings across all competitions in the current campaign.
A promising partnership has been struck up with club captain Harry Maguire, but Lindelof faces fierce competition for his place from Eric Bailly.
That is forcing him to keep playing, with only three games sat out as a result of his back problem.
Issues in that area first emerged for Lindelof in 2019-20 and have proved difficult to shake or address properly with United’s medical department.
The bigger picture
Lindelof is not going to get an extended break any time soon, with the fixtures continuing to come thick and fast.
A derby date with arch-rivals Manchester City is next on the agenda for United, who remain in the hunt for a top-four finish in the Premier League alongside FA Cup and Europa League trophy quests.
Solskjaer’s side still have 11 games to come in the English top-flight, and Lindelof will want to figure in as many of those as possible.
He also has international action to come over the summer, with Sweden readying themselves for the European Championship in a tough group alongside Spain, Poland and Slovakia.