Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has admitted that he is worried about Daley Blind suffering an injury due to the sheer number of games he has played this season without a break. The versatile star, who can play in midfield or in a number positions in defence, has been an ever-present member in the team throughout the season and has provided covered in numerous positions owing to the injury crisis that has crippled the club in recent months.
The Old Trafford club's injury crisis is slowly easing ahead of the final months of the season and it will be music to the manager's ears as they face a hectic schedule in the Premier League, Europa League and the FA Cup. There was a point in the season when Blind was the only fit senior defender in the first-team squad, with youth-team stars Paddy McNair, Guillermo Varela and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson accompanying him at the heart of the back four.
The 25-year-old Netherlands international has made 41 appearances this season, a feat only matched by Juan Mata, but the Dutchman has spent 500 minutes more on the pitch than his Spanish counterpart. He has played 90 minutes of every game since the start of the year and the manager is hoping that he can sustain his fitness until Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones return to match fitness following their recent return to first-team training.
"I have to rotate him because he is very tired. When (Marcos) Rojo is fit again I can rotate him so I hope we can sustain this. But I give him a lot of time free from the training sessions. I recover him more than other players because I have to," Van Gaal said, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.
"When we bought him I told Ed Woodward the positions he can play. He has proved that. He has played in the midfield and left full-back but I think the best position is left central defender because I ask in our play, build up qualities of the central defenders."