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Sunday’s 2-0 away loss at Liverpool wasn’t the worst thing that happened for Manchester United this past week. The Red Devils lost star forward Marcus Rashford due to injury, and he could be out for an extended period of time.

The England international only lasted 15 minutes against Wolverhampton in Wednesday’s FA Cup match, where he was coming off the bench. Everyone immediately thought the injury could have been serious, and the post-match medicals confirmed the worst. Rashford will be out for up to six weeks with a stress fracture.

How long will Marcus Rashford be out for?

United’s manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed the timetable for his return. “Normally six weeks to heal, but I’m not a doctor,” said Solskjaer. “It’s a [back] stress fracture. It happened against Wolves. It’s not happened before, it happened there and then. He’ll be out for a while.”

Rashford already missed the match against Liverpool, and the injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for The Red Devils. If we analyze the six-week span where Rashford is expected to be out, then he could miss up to nine games: Burnley, Wolves, Watford and Club Brugge at home, and the FA Cup Fourth Round tie as well as Manchester City (EFL Cup), Chelsea, Brugge, and Everton on the road.

Putting things into perspective, United will fight for their lives in three Cup competitions while playing five Premier League matches over that span. That’s a rough stretch. United certainly didn’t want to lose such an important player in a busy period of the schedule.

Considering Rashford might also need time to get match fit, the earliest realistic return date could be March 7th at home against Manchester City. And even in that scenario, it would be plausible to imagine he would be coming off the bench. But even that might be a stretch. If he needs even more time to recover, then there’s a chance Rashford won’t return to action until after the FIFA International Break in March.

What can Manchester United do to replace Rashford?

But what can Manchester United while Rashford is out? Perhaps the lone positive thing is that the injury happened during January. That means The Red Devils still have time to find a potential replacement. There are 11 days left on the transfer market yet. In transfer period time, that’s a wide span of time to do something regarding a potential arrival.

Solskjaer said they are not going to target any player, though. “We might look at some short-term deals as well that could take us through to the summer. We don’t desperately need a striker, if the right one is there and it fits for us… we’ve got players who are champing at the bit.”

That doesn’t sound promising. But the team MUST do something. Otherwise, securing a Champions League berth might prove to be just too difficult for them. Especially considering The Red Devils already sit five points out of fourth place at the moment.

Rashford has scored 19 goals for Manchester United this season. He has 22 goals for club and country this season, with 14 of those coming in the Premier League. Undoubtedly, he will be missed upfront.

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