Manchester United coach Ole Gunnar Solksjaer believes that Eric Bailly will not return to action in the Premier League this season.
The Cote d’Ivoire international was making his first appearance since the Uefa Champions League win away at Paris Saint-Germain in February. Bailly played an important role in United’s 1-1 draw against Chelsea on Sunday.
However, he was hauled off after Ander Herrera’s slide tackle on Mateo Kovacic sent the Chelsea midfielder crashing into the defender.
After several minutes of medical attention, Bailly was finally replaced with Marcos Rojo in the 71st minute.
The defender, who has only played 18 matches across all competitions this season due to persistent injuries, is unlikely to add to the tally, with Solskjaer ruling him out of United’s final 2018-19 games against Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City.
“He will need a scan tomorrow but I don’t think it is the worst knee injury you can have,” Solskjaer told the media.
“He will be out for the rest of the season, I don’t think we will see him again before next season.
”But he is a warrior, he played well today, he was calm, he was composed and it was just unfortunate that he had to come off.“
This recent update would come as a huge blow to Cote d’Ivoire who seemed prime to take advantage of the defender’s timely return to fitness ahead of their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations campaign.
With the biennial continental tournament set to kick off on June 21, Bailly’s chances to help his side navigate past Group D opposition Morocco, South Africa and Namibia are slim.