Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has predicted Marcus Rashford will be fit for Manchester United’s weekend clash with West Brom.
Solskjaer even challenged Rashford to remove any doubt by declaring himself available for Saturday’s Premier League encounter.
The United forward missed England’s three fixtures during the international break – against Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Iceland – having picked up an injury in the 3-1 win over Everton. However, Solskjaer had positive news to report during Friday’s press conference:
"He's worked in the gym and has got treatment. He joined in the session today," Solskjaer said.
Intriguingly, it appears the final call on Rashford’s availability will fall on the player himself:
I hope he'll hold his hand up and say he's ready. That will be up to him. I think he feels okay.
Rashford has scored seven goals for United this season, although he’s failed to net in his last three outings.
United will hope the visit of 18th-placed West Brom, who are yet to win this season, will finally provide a turning point in their abysmal home form. Solskjaer’s men are yet to win at home in the Premier League this season.
- Parker's Picks: Liverpool to burst Leicester bubble, Man Utd to squeeze past West Brom
- 'I came to Utd to win trophies' - Bruno Fernandes says Man Utd have mentality to be league champs
The Red Devils are nursing various injury problems, with Victor Lindelof likely to miss out this weekend due to a bad back. The Sweden international came off after 66 minutes in the midweek 4-2 loss to France.
Luke Shaw is also missing, while Eric Bailly has only just returned to training and will not feature.
Solskjaer did have more positive news on young forward Mason Greenwood, who is yet to complete 90 minutes for United this season.
Mason Greenwood is nearing a return
Image credit: Getty Images
"Mason is fitter. He had eight or nine days away from us which is long time. He's been training hard this week in the gym and on the grass. He'll be back soon,” said Solskjaer.
Greenwood has endured a tough start to the campaign, sent home from the England squad in disgrace after breaching COVID-19 protocols and then suffering from illness.
After a rapid rise to prominence, it’s the first real spell of adversity in the 19-year-old’s career, but Solskjaer is backing Greenwood to return better than ever.
"You have to take a step back sometimes, the boy's only 19, he's had a fantastic year," Solskjaer said. "Everyone's allowed to not be well, if you're not well you can't train.
"We're just building him up again. I have no doubts about him. He has a very good head on him and the talent is there for all to see."
Solskjaer is facing make-or-break period
Image credit: Getty Images
The next 10 games may well determine the direction of United’s season. West Brom’s visit starts a spell of 10 days between now and Christmas, including three Champions League games and an EFL Cup quarter-final. They also face a Manchester derby in that period.
Currently placed 14th in the Premier League table, United need to start closing the six-point gap to fourth place, which already looks threatening with Chelsea and Man City still sat outside the Champions League spots.
The rallying cry, if it was needed, has already been delivered by Bruno Fernandes, who reminded United during the international break that he joined the club "to win trophies". That pursuit begins on Saturday.