Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has confirmed Matteo Darmian is to miss the FA Cup fourth-round game against Derby County tomorrow (29 January 2016), but says that the Italian international's injury is not as serious as first though. The Dutch boss has also suggested that Michael Carrick is to return to the squad for the trip to the IPro Stadium, but Bastian Schweinsteiger and Phil Jones would remain on the sidelines alongside long-time absentees Ashley Young, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia.
Darmian sparked fears over the full-back crisis at Old Trafford during the defeat at Southampton after being forced to be replaced in the second half due to an injury, with van Gaal himself confirming at the time that it looked bad as he was sent to hospital. The 26 year old tried to calm concerns on Monday after suggesting on his Instagram account that the injury was not as bad as it looked. "Thank you all for the support, I'm fine! See you soon," Darmian wrote.
Van Gaal has confirmed the "positive" update, although admitted that Friday's game is still too soon for the defender to make a reappearance. Carrick, however, could return after being out of action since a thrilling victory over Sheffield United on 9 January.
"[The injury situations] It's more or less the same. Darmian is now out and maybe Michael Carrick shall come in, but of course he's not able to play 90 minutes," van Gaal said in a press conference ahead of the game. "But it's very good he is coming back. With Darmian, it is very positive, actually. It's not too severe, but he's not able to play against Derby."
The boss refused to set a deadline for the recoveries of Schweinsteiger and Jones, who have been out of action since earlier this month. Both are to miss the game alongside Young, Rojo, Shaw and Valencia.
"I cannot say (if Schweinsteiger and Jones are close) because every time I make a remark about injuries it is always difficult because injuries have developments and you have to wait and see," the manager said. "Also they have to train and be adapted to the rhythm of the Premier League which is high. When you are more weeks injured it takes more time to adapt to that rhythm."