Jesse Lingard
Lingard has not featured since the opening day of the season. Getty

Louis van Gaal is hopeful of having Jesse Lingard back in his squad soon after the midfielder's rapid recovery from injury.

Lingard, 21, was named in van Gaal's first competitive XI on the opening day of the season against Swansea City after impressing during the club's preseason tour of the US.

The midfielder was handed his debut at wing-back, but was forced off after just 24 minutes following a challenge with Swans skipper Ashley Williams.

Lingard is still recovering from the knee problem that derailed his season but van Gaal has hinted the midfielder continues to figure in his first-team plans, having been impressed with his bid to regain full fitness.

"He's come back unbelievably quickly because we thought it would take longer," van Gaal told Manchester United's official website. "I'm very pleased with him. But I don't want to say too much about the injured players, because we have a squad which has to solve that selection problem."

Lingard rose to prominence during his loan spell at Birmingham City last season, where he struck four goals on his competitive debut for the club. The England under-21 international was frequently used during the club's preseason tour and came off the bench to score against Liverpool in a 3-1 victory.

Lingard has been United's only long-term absentee this season but the club have been beset by a ceaseless injury list that has acted to undermine van Gaal's first season in English football.

Luke Shaw, Daley Blind, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones also remain sidelined with the United boss expected to confirm the status of Angel di Maria and Rafael da Silva in Friday's press conference after their spells out through hamstring and groin injuries respectively.

United have suffered over 40 separate injuries this season but have managed to claw their way back into the top three of the Premier League for the first time since August 2013.