Marcus Rashford is back in Manchester United training and no one is giving him an easy time as he closes in on a first team return.
The forward hasn’t been seen since the Euro 2020 final as he underwent surgery on a shoulder problem.
Rashford is yet to feature for United this term but a return is looming and his teammate’s attitude in training suggests there is no lingering doubts about his fitness.
“Marcus trained fully for the first time today with contact,” said his manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“There were a few tackles flying in on him but he seemed OK, which was nice to see.”
Rashford faces a tough task getting back into United’s starting XI such is their strength this term.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho both arrived in the summer to bolster the team’s frontline and Solskjaer is having to juggle his options.
Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Martial, Edinson Cavani and Jesse Lingard are all pushing for regular involvement.
Some have been handed more minutes than others and Rashford will now add to the selection headache.
The United academy graduate is yet to play alongside Ronaldo but couldn’t hide his excitement when the signing was made.
He said on social media: “Wow wow wow, he’s home.”
Rashford’s time on the sidelines came despite him dismissing any fears of burnout back in March.
The 23-year-old featured in all but one of United’s game last term but was adamant he knew what he was physically capable of.
He said: “I know my body and I know what I can do physically and that’s it. I take one game at a time and it’s the life of footballer.
“We can rest when we retire and for now I want to play as much as I can. I recover from games quite well and from injuries I have no doubts, so I have no worries.”
United’s squad depth will certainly be a plus this weekend when they take on Everton at Old Trafford.
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The Red Devils played Villarreal in the Champions League on Wednesday night but have been assigned the lunchtime kick-off – something that continues to anger managers.
“We had no explanation, but it’s TV of course,” Solskjaer said. “There’s no common sense at all. We had the same scenario last season when we were in Turkey and came back and played.
“Us and Chelsea both played on Wednesday and could have easily played on Sunday while City-Liverpool could have been on Saturday.
“Common sense might not be so common.”