Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Matteo Darmian picked up an injury which forced him to miss Manchester United's trip to face Leicester City, while Chris Smalling also suffered a knock in the final minutes of the clash against the Foxes on Saturday, 23 December.
Harry Maguire's late equaliser helped 10-man Leicester settle for a point in their 2-2 draw against the Red Devils at the King Power Stadium. Jamie Vardy opened the scoring before Juan Mata equalised before the break. The Spaniard gave United the lead in the second half but poor defending in the end saw Mourinho's side drop two points.
Antonio Valencia was already injured for the Leicester clash, while Eric Bailly is also expected to spend time on the sidelines. The Portuguese tactician started summer signing Victor Lindelof in the right-back position on Saturday, while Smalling partnered Phil Jones in the heart of the back-four.
Mourinho confirmed Darmian's injury in his pre-match interview and went on to explain why Lindelof would be fielded in the right-back position.
"Darmian is also injured. We don't have too many more options [at right-back] and Victor has experience to play in the position even at highest level, in the last Euros he was there for Sweden, so it's not a new position for him," Mourinho explained, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.
In the match against Leicester, Smalling seemed to be struggling in the final minutes, with the England international receiving treatment after going down in stoppage time. However, Mourinho was unable to take him off the pitch as he had already used up all three of his substitutions.
After receiving medical attention, the centre-back was then allowed to get back on the field. He went on to mark Maguire from a cross and his failure to defend well allowed the Foxes player to score the second goal of the match.
Mourinho, who acknowledged after the match that Smalling had picked up an injury, was unhappy with the manner in which his side failed to reorganise their defence after his knock.
"Yes, and I had the chance to speak with Ashley Young to tell him the way the team had to be in position because of Smalling's difficulty, but I think a lack of maturity because I cannot stop the game to give a team-talk for the last two minutes," the United manager said.
"The players immediately have to adapt and read the game and they didn't. We had childish decisions in front of goal, bad decisions. It was not about the dribbling and hitting the bar, it was not just about the cases with an open goal, it was easy decisions to make to counter-attack."