Manchester United confirm defender Rafael will leave United States tour after suffering a groin injuryManchester United's David De Gea and Rafael look dejected during their Barclays Premier League match against Manchester City at Old Trafford on March 25, 2014
Manchester United have confirmed that Rafael will leave their United States tour after suffering a groin injury in training on Friday.
The 24 year-old, who was signed alongside his twin brother Fábio [now at Cardiff City] from Fluminense in January 2007, is now considered a doubt for United’s opening Premier League fixture against Swansea City at Old Trafford, which is just 19 days away.
"As he [Rafael] was unlikely to participate in the remaining tour games, returning to the training complex affords the best overall option for his recovery in time to continue pre-season preparation when the team returns,” said an official statement on the club website, as reported by the BBC.
Manager Louis van Gaal will now likely use Antonio Valencia at right wing-back during the remainder of the tour and the Ecuadorian may also have to deputise for the Swansea tie.
This latest injury setback will come as a big blow to Rafael. The Brazil international - capped twice - managed just 18 starts in the Premier League last season and was strongly linked with a return to his homeland.
Having seemingly been a part of van Gaal’s first-team plans, the Petrópolis native will hope for a quick recovery to get back in contention for a starting berth.