Manchester United provided timely boost with Anthony Martial returning to training having been absent for six games with the Frenchman still harbouring increasingly faint hopes of playing in Qatar
- Anthony Martial has been out for the club’s last six games with a back problem
- Timely boost for Manchester United in final push before season breaks for Qatar
- Erik ten Hag had said he was not sure whether he would play again before break
Anthony Martial gave Manchester United a boost when he returned to first-team training at Carrington on Monday.
United boss Erik ten Hag admitted last week that he wasn’t sure if Martial would be back in action before the World Cup after missing the last six matches with a back injury.
But the Frenchman rejoined his team-mates in training yesterday with four matches still to go before the tournament kicks off.
Anthony Martial has returned to Manchester United training in a timely pre-World Cup boost
Martial has revived his United career under Ten Hag following a spell on loan at Sevilla last season, but has made just four appearances after suffering three separate injuries since the Dutchman took over. The 26-year-old tweaked a hamstring in a pre-season friendly against Atletico Madrid and then hurt his back at Everton last month less than half an hour into his return from an achilles problem.
Although Martial has not given up hope of helping France defend the World Cup in Qatar, his former United team-mate Paul Pogba has been ruled out of the tournament with a thigh injury.
Pogba suffered his latest setback while recovering from knee surgery and is yet to play a competitive game for Juventus since rejoining the Italian club as a free agent in the summer.
United on Monday announced plans for a week’s training camp in Spain and a friendly against Cadiz on December 7 as part of their preparations to restart the season after the World Cup.
A second friendly will be confirmed soon and Ten Hag said: ‘It’s a strange season. It’s not like usual as we have a World Cup, but also players will stay behind. We have to train them during those six weeks and we have to give them the right programme so they stay at the right fitness levels.’
Meanwhile, former United defender Gary Neville has stepped down as chief executive of Salford City and handed over the reins to his old team-mate Nicky Butt. Neville, who will remain a co-owner of the League Two team, said: ‘As the club has developed with such pace it needs someone who can concentrate on it and be there every day.’
Martial, however, was withdrawn for Cristiano Ronaldo after sustaining an injury to his back