Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford played through the pain barrier last season to avoid a lengthy injury layoff.
The 23-year-old played a major role for club and country last season – making a total of 59 appearances from the start of the shortened campaign to the commencement of the Euros, averaging a game every 4.2 days.
He is set to undergo shoulder surgery later this summer in an attempt to clear an injury that was sustained in November last year, with painkillers and injections taken to allow Rashford to continue playing.
The England international netted 21 goals and provided 15 assists for United last season and was influential in their second-placed finish and run to the Europa League final.
Despite this, he finished the season carrying multiple injuries – having pulled the ligaments in his right foot in the Premier League win over Manchester City, regularly having to ice the area and manage it to avoid missing first-team action.
It is the muscle tear in his left shoulder which will now undergo keyhole surgery and a report in The Athletic outlines how there is expected to be a 12-week period of rehabilitation.
The injury has prevented Rashford from lifting heavy weights in the gym to build lean muscle while it has also prevented him from attaining full flexibility and using maximum force in certain in-game situations.
The surgery will not take place until the end of this month, meaning that the England international is likely to be sidelined for the first two months of the new club campaign.
There is no guarantee that the injury will be fully cleared up following the treatment.
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Rashford is said to be adamant that surgery is the best option to treat the injury, which has often flared up with swelling over the last six months.
There are likely to be questions as to why the surgery could not have been arranged earlier this month and potentially why Rashford waited during the Euros – where he did not start for England throughout the tournament.
Rashford told The Athletic in February: “Of course there are times when you should probably take a step back from it, but as a professional athlete it’s difficult when you know you can still influence games and help the team win.
“With injuries, I just take it a day at a time. Some days it is worse than others, some days it’s not so bad. You have to find stability really, whether it means you can’t train for a day, or when you go home you have to relax and rest; you do whatever it takes to get out on the pitch at the weekend.”
Rashford previously recovered from a long-term back injury in 2020 when he sat out action from February – although this was aided by the football halting from the pandemic the following month.
With Jadon Sancho set to join United and the options of Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani and Amad Diallo – United are well-stocked in the position compared to previous years.
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