Eric Bailly is confident of a swift return to action for Manchester United, sources have told ESPN, despite limping out of Wednesday’s 2-1 victory against Crystal Palace.
Bailly, 22, made his first Premier League start since damaging knee ligaments against Chelsea on Oct. 23 when he lined up at right-back for Jose Mourinho’s team at Selhurst Park.
But after being caught by a knee-high challenge by Palace winger Lee Chung-Yong early in the first half, Bailly was forced to undergo lengthy treatment before recovering to play on until half-time.
The Ivory Coast defender ultimately succumbed to the injury seven minutes into the second half and was replaced by Matteo Darmian, but although he will be tested on Thursday at United’s Aon Training Complex, sources close to the player have insisted that Bailly is not fearing another lengthy lay-off so soon after returning to action.
While the summer signing from Villarreal may be forced to sit out Saturday’s Premier League trip to West Bromwich Albion, Bailly is likely to be fit for the Christmas fixture programme. United face home games against Sunderland on Dec. 26 and Middlesbrough on Dec. 31 before travelling to West Ham on Jan. 2.
Bailly is then set to fly out to Gabon in early January to link up with his national team for their defence of the Africa Nations Cup.
If Ivory Coast progress to the final in Libreville on Feb. 5, Bailly will be unavailable for United until the Old Trafford fixture against Watford on Feb. 11.