The Red Devils are investigating why so many players have been absent recently, though international duty may have exacerbated the problem for some.
Brazil captain Casemiro asked to be substituted in the 79th minute of Thursday’s match against Venezuela. He was replaced by Andre. Brazil manager Fernando Diniz said Casemiro “asked to come off due to a blow to his ankle.”
The severity of the injury is unclear as Brazil have another qualifier coming up against Uruguay on Tuesday. Man United return to action on Saturday against Sheffield United.
Brazil led 1-0 when Casemiro went off thanks to a goal from Gabriel in the 50th minute. However, Venezuela equalized through Eduard Bello’s overhead kick in the 85th.
After the match, Casemiro said: “Now we have to hold our heads high and think about Uruguay. We wanted to attack them, they wanted to defend, and we couldn’t break through like we wanted.”
Man United have 16 players currently injured or unavailable, despite having only played 8 Premier League games so far. The club is investigating possible patterns in the injuries to try and improve prevention going forward. However, impact injuries like what appears to have struck Casemiro can be hard to predict.
Luke Shaw, Lisandro Martinez and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are expected to be long-term absentees. Raphael Varane, Sergio Reguilon, Tyrell Malacia, Kobbie Mainoo and Amad Diallo are also out presently but hopes are higher for their quicker returns.
After the international break, Man United travel to Sheffield United then host Copenhagen and Man City on October 29.