Marouane Fellaini Injury: Updates on Manchester United Star's Status and Return

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistApril 8, 2014

Manchester United's Maroune Fellaini during their English Premier League soccer match against Newcastle United at St James' Park, Newcastle, England, Saturday, April 5, 2014. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
Scott Heppell

Updates from Friday, April 18

Marouane Fellaini is fit to return to the Manchester United starting XI for the trip to old club Everton.

United's official Twitter quoted David Moyes saying:


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Marouane Fellaini is ruled out of Manchester United's vital Champions League clash with Bayern Munich, adding to major injury problems for the Red Devils.

The Belgian will sit out alongside Rafael and Jonny Evans, who have also had their absence confirmed by David McDonnell of the Mirror:

Robin van Persie remains on the recovery table despite David Moyes saying the Dutchman is "getting better," per Sky Sports. Juan Mata is ineligible after appearing in this season's competition with Chelsea, meaning Moyes' team is more than likely to pick itself.

More positively, Wayne Rooney is likely to shrug off the toe injury that kept him out of the weekend win over Newcastle, noted by MailOnline Sport:

Fellaini has failed to impress since joining United. The £27.5 million signing continues to be the subject of staunch criticism from supporters and a jovial figure to onlookers outside the club.

However, while his distribution, dribbling and tackling skills have consistently been poor this campaign, he could have been useful in the second-leg tie with Bayern.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 01:  A dejected Wayne Rooney of Manchester United and Marouane Fellaini of Manchester United look on after conceding a goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between Manchester United and FC Bayern
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Moyes deployed Fellaini in a dynamic role during the opening match. He aimed to shield the defence while also moving forward to support United's attack, although he often got lost somewhere between the lines. Even so, the 26-year-old could have aided the English side's defensive effort in what is sure to be a tough night for the fallen Premier League champions.

It's likely Moyes will bring Shinji Kagawa into his starting lineup after the Japanese international began the first leg on United's bench. Ryan Giggs may be deployed in the centre, but his anonymous performance in the opening match saw him substituted at the break. Tom Cleverley or Darren Fletcher could start, while Moyes may wish to begin Rooney in a central midfield role.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 01:  Marouane Fellaini of Manchester United and Franck Ribery of Bayern Muenchen battle for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between Manchester United and FC Bayern Muenchen at Old Traffor
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Bayern have major selection problems of their own. Pep Guardiola is without the suspended Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez, while Thiago Alcantara is currently recovering from a knee injury, per Bundesliga's official website.

Guardiola confirmed he has just 14 players available for the match, per Bayern's official Twitter feed:

United have it all to do when they arrive at the Allianz Arena. Fellaini's injury certainly doesn't help, but Moyes will be confident of upsetting the European champions on their own turf.

The English side need a win or draw higher than 1-1 to progress and keep their season alive. A memorable performance is certainly needed, but with injury problems mounting, United's task certainly isn't getting any easier.