Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has said he will do ‘everything he can’ to get back to match fitness after picking up a muscular injury in the 0-0 draw with Liverpool at the weekend, and hailed his teammates after battling for a point in trying circumstances.
The Spaniard was forced off after 25 minutes – remarkably the second of three injury enforced substitutions in the first 45 minutes – leaving United with the gruelling prospect of a second half with no available changes against their high-flying rivals.
Minus Mata, Ander Herrera and Jesse Lingard, however, Solskjaer’s were able to dig deep and pick up an impressive point – something the 30-year-old admitted on his blog he is immensely proud of, while providing fans with a vague update on his own injury.
“Today I am writing this back at home, disappointed to not have been able to finish the game, but proud of the bravery and strength that my teammates showed as they gave everything on the pitch to take a point that looked incredibly hard to secure at the end of the first half,” the Spaniard said.
“If there is a game that no United players want to miss, it is when we play Liverpool, but you have to accept that injuries are a part of the sport.
“Luckily, I can’t remember having faced a similar situation in a game and that is after more than 12 years as a professional, it is the first time that a muscular injury has forced me off during a match.”
He continued: “In reality, I have to be grateful, as it is an uncommon record for a football player, but this one came during a derby. It was a shame, and on top of that it wasn’t the only injury – Ander and Jesse both had to go off for the same reason.
“In terms of my own injury problem, I could feel something for a few minutes and I hope that I didn’t make it worse when racing to stop Salah on the counter at attack (I had to do it!). I’m hoping it isn’t anything serious. I will do everything that I can to get back as soon as possible.”