Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea is a contender to face FC Midtjylland in the second leg of the Europa League last 32 after manager Louis van Gaal confirmed the Spain international had avoided a serious knee injury. The 25-year-old limped out of the warm-up before the first leg against the Danish outfit and was replaced by Sergio Romero.
The club had refrained from providing an official update regarding the results of a scan on De Gea's knee, however IBTimes UK understands that the former Atletico Madrid stopper had escaped significant damage. After missing the FA Cup win at Shrewsbury Town he will continue to be monitored by medical staff. Van Gaal believes if De Gea is not ready for the European tie he will be available for the visit of Arsenal on 27 February.
"It was not so heavy the injury, so it is possible [he could play on] Thursday but it is also possible [he will play]against Arsenal," the United coach confirmed after the 3-0 win at New Meadow, according to The Guardian. "[The Midtjylland match] is a big game because it's a chance to qualify for the Champions League next season. But we have to win a lot of matches of course. It's easily to say so but doing it is different. But it is possible and then we'll see. I think in March a lot of players are coming back and then we'll have a full selection, and with our full selection we were first in the Premier League."
After failing to win any of their previous three games, United returned to form as they comprehensively swept aside League One strugglers Shrewsbury. Chris Smalling, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard all netted and Van Gaal was impressed with their return to form, which was somewhat overshadowed by injuries to Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Lingard and substitute Will Keane.
"I think the performance was very good," he added. "I said that already at half-time to my players. They were very committed, they performed our game plan very well and the consequences were we were ahead 2-0 at half-time – a lucky goal from Smalling I think but a very good free-kick from Mata.
"Everybody shall say it is easy against Shrewsbury Town and Manchester United has to win but we have seen very difficult results in the FA Cup, not always the top team wins so I think we have done fantastically.
"I have congratulated my players, I was very pleased but now we have to beat Midtjylland because it's also possible to beat them. But it is not easy because Midtjylland are very well-organised, we have seen that in the away game. But still everything is possible, we're still in three competitions, so we have to fight for a lot of chances I think."