Eric Bailly gave Manchester United a scare after limping off during an U23 match against Everton with a suspected ankle injury, but it was deemed not serious following the game.

The Ivory Coast international was playing his first game for the club following his return from Africa Cup of Nations duty and was impressive during his 58 minutes on the pitch despite the Red Devils' reserve side losing to their Merseyside counterparts. The defender was taken off as a precaution and replaced by Tyrell Warren for the remainder of the game.

United have coped well in his absence with Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo establishing themselves as Jose Mourinho's first choice pairing and it is likely that Bailly will not be guaranteed a direct starting spot when he returns to the first-team. The Ivorian defender has been impressive in his debut campaign, but struggled with injuries during the first half of the season. He recovered just in time to travel with the national team for the Afcon Cup.

The 22-year-old's return to the squad will come as a big boost to the manager especially with games coming thick and fast in the coming weeks. The 20-time English champions will be participating in four competitions and Mourinho will need to rotate his squad and keep them fresh to be able to challenge on all fronts.

Eric Bailly
Eric Bailly has not played for the Manchester United first-team since his appearance against Middlesbrough on 31 December 2016 Getty

Bailly will be keen to return to action, but United's clash against Hull City on Wednesday could be too soon owing to his participation with the reserve side. They travel to the King Power Stadium on Sunday (5 February) and the defender will be hoping to get a chance to stake a claim for a regular starting place against the defending champions.