In a huge injury boost for Manchester United, Raphael Varane could be back in training next week after wrapping up his 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign with France.
He played for 113 minutes in the final on Sunday as Argentina beat Les Bleus 4-2 on penalties following a pulsating 3-3 draw in 120 minutes.
Varane was a key player for the deposed champions, having recovered from an ankle injury to be named in Didier Deschamps' 26-man squad.
The centre-back started in six of their seven games in Qatar, including the final, but went off with fatigue minutes before the end of extra time. His participation in the FIFA World Cup final means Varane, Lisandro Martinez and another Manchester United player involved in the game are out till next week, at the very least.
That means neither Varane or Martinez will play any part in United's EFL Cup game with Burnley on Wednesday and the Premier League game against Nottingham Forest six days later.
Varane is due to return to the Carrington training complex next week. Meanwhile, nine United players, whose teams were knocked out in the quarterfinals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup are due back tomorrow (December 20).
Varane and Martinez are expected to be available to play when United visit Wolverhampton Wanderers on New Year's eve.
Manchester United will resume their 2022-23 season on Wednesday (December 21) against Burnley at Old Trafford in the EFL Cup, after a month-long hiatus due to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The Red Devils went into the break with back-to-back victories and will look to continue in the same veins.
United and Burnley are meeting in the League Cup for the first time since December 2002, when the Old Trafford outfit pulled off a 2-0 win at Turf Moor.
With much of his squad back from the FIFA World Cup, United manager Erik ten Hag will hope for a positive result in the fixture. It would mark the club's first appearance in the quarterfinals of the Carabo Cup since the 2020-21 season.
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