Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has stated that first-choice centre-backs Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane are expected to rejoin the squad soon. He also revealed that Harry Maguire had returned to training after an illness.
Varane and Martinez were part of their teams' squads for the 2022 FIFA World Cup final on 18 December. While the former played 113 minutes for France before limping off due to cramps, the latter remained on the bench for Argentina throughout.
Both players were given an additional week off following one of the best matches of all-time, with Martinez and La Albiceleste emerging victorious in the end. The former AFC Ajax centre-back travelled with his national team from Qatar back to Argentina to celebrate their World Cup victory.
Harry Maguire, meanwhile, returned to Manchester United after England were knocked out in the quarterfinals by Raphael Varane's France. He missed the Red Devils' 2-0 EFL Cup win over Burnley last week due to illness, but is back in training.
Speaking ahead of United's Premier League clash against Nottingham Forest on 27 December, Ten Hag said (as quoted by Manchester Evening News):
"Returning from Rapha Varane and Licha Martinez, they are not there [back at United ] but we hope on their comeback [soon].
"We had some problems with illness like Harry Maguire, but he was back on the training pitch today so I’m happy with that."
It remains to be seen if Maguire will be fit in time to start the clash against Forest. If the Englishman is not up to speed, Victor Lindelof will be Manchester United's only available senior centre-back.
The Red Devils are also likely to be without right-back Diogo Dalot, who picked up an injury while turning out for Portugal at the FIFA World Cup. Dalot missed the match against Burnley, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka taking his place in the starting XI.
Jadon Sancho is another player set to miss out on the match against Forest as he recovers from injury.
How did Manchester United fare in their most recent meeting with Nottingham Forest?
Nottingham Forest returned to the Premier League this season after a 23-year absence. Understandably, they haven't played many of the teams currently in the league in quite some time.
Forest last played Manchester United in the 1998-99 Premier League season at the end of which they were relegated to the EFL Championship. The game took place at the City Ground on February 6, 1999 and ended in a resounding 8-1 win.
Premier League legends Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole scored a brace apiece, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer netted four times off the bench for the Red Devils. Alan Rogers scored Forest's only goal of the game.