Marcos Rojo Injury: Manchester United Defender Injures Leg vs. Reading

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2017

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07:  Marcos Rojo of Manchester United reacts following an injury during the Emirates FA Cup third round match between Manchester United and Reading at Old Trafford on January 7, 2017 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Marcos Rojo was an early casualty in Manchester United's FA Cup third-round meeting with Reading on Saturday; the centre-back came off after picking up what appeared to be a knock to his leg.

Phil Jones came on for his team-mate after just 29 minutes. United's official Twitter account confirmed the blow:

Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho will be saddened to lose another central defender, having only just waved goodbye to Ivory Coast defender Eric Bailly as he jetted off for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

The injury is poorly timed as far as United and Rojo are concerned, as Statman Dave painted a picture as to just how important the Argentina international has been in helping the club build their recent run of form:

There's also the matter of how this will affect United's winter transfer plans, particularly with Bailly having only just left for the AFCON, which promises to keep him out of United action for up to a month.

When asked about his January transfer plans on Friday, United manager Jose Mourinho said he would refrain from purchasing and instead trust the improved trio of Rojo, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, per Mark Crellin of Sky Sports:

I hope the three can control the situation in those eight matches [that Bailly will miss at the Africa Cup of Nations].

I will try to rest one in every game. On Saturday [against Reading] I will rest one, against Hull [in Tuesday's EFL Cup semi-final first leg] another.

We'll try to make a rotation between these three. We still have Daley Blind as the fourth, in case we need him to play there. We have Michael Carrick. So let's try.

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The manager will hope Rojo's injury doesn't cause too great a recovery setback, with the aforementioned Blind also able to step in at centre-back if required.

The Red Devils are entering a busy fixture period in which Rojo's services would be welcome, as they prepare to face Liverpool, Stoke City and Hull City (in both the league and League Cup), all before the end of January.