Michael Carrick
Louis van Gaal reveals that Michael Carrick is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a muscle rupture sustained at the end of JanuaryGetty Images

Manchester United have received a major boost after Louis van Gaal revealed that midfielder Michael Carrick is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a muscle rupture he sustained at the end of January.

The injury to the English midfielder was the 59th injury sustained by a United player this season. However, even after a continuous spell of injuries to first-team players, the Old Trafford club have turned the corner and currently have only one player on the injury list.

This is the second injury sustained by Carrick this season, and the first one had kept him out of action for three months at the start of the season, and the current one was expected to keep him out for at least four weeks, but according to the Dutchman, he will return sooner than expected.

"We have only one injury and Michael Carrick is doing well. He shall also return very fast I think, better than we expect maybe. But it is always wait and see," Van Gaal said, as quoted by Manchester Evening News.

The England international has put in some impressive performances since his return from the ankle injury he sustained in the summer, and became a mainstay in the United midfield until he suffered his current injury.

The Red Devils travel to London on Sunday to face West Ham United, the club where Carrick started his career. However, the midfielder will not have a reunion with his former club. And the manager is aware that it is going to be a tough game against the Hammers, who have recently suffered a slight dip after they spent the first half of the season amongst the top four on the Premier League table.

"But it's not so easy because we have to play away in London against West Ham United and it was a tough game also in Manchester. It shall not be easy, but we want to continue. We have to improve still a lot in my opinion and then at the end maybe we can see we are the best team," the Dutch manager added.