Michael Carrick
Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick is in a race to be fit for the Red Devils clash against Chelsea on SaturdayGetty Images

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick is reportedly in a race to get fit for the Red Devils' upcoming clash against Chelsea on Saturday, 18 April.

According to the Manchester Evening News, the Old Trafford club will give the player every opportunity to prove his fitness ahead of the clash with the west London club.

The English midfielder limped out in the closing stages of the game against Manchester City on Sunday, 12 April to protect a calf injury, and as Louis van Gaal had made all three of his substitutions, they were reduced to 10-men for the final few minutes of the game.

But the Dutch manager has backed Carrick for walking out of the pitch and revealed that he did so with his permission.

"At the end, Michael Carrick needed to be changed but I could not substitute him. He was very wise to step out of the game with my permission. I hope he is not injured," Van Gaal said.

The 33-year-old midfielder is an integral part of Van Gaal's squad and the manager is hopeful that the midfielder can recover ahead of their trip to Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

United have managed some good performances this season with Carrick in the team, but have struggled to get across the line when he is not in the squad.

The England international, who signed a one-year contract extension earlier in the season, has missed a considerable number of games this campaign and will hope to finish the season strongly as United continue their quest to finish as high as possible in the Premier League.

Meanwhile, Carrick has stated that he feels the fittest he has ever been and is looking forward to playing for a couple more years by taking inspiration from the likes of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, who played well into their late thirties for United.

"Living right and trying to look after myself gives me a better chance. I feel as good and as fit as I ever have. I'm not saying I can last as long as Giggsy. Not many people, if anyone, can do what he did. But I tried to learn off Giggsy, Scholesy and Gaz Nev," Carrick told United's official site.

"It's stuff in the gym, yoga, living right, eating right... it all comes together and hopefully gives you a chance of playing for that extra couple of years." And keep smiling? "Always, eh?" the Englishman added.