Man United injury updates: Van Gaal expects three key players to return before Christmas

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Chris Smalling, Ander Herrera and Matteo Darmian are all expected to return for next weekend’s visit of Norwich City to hand Manchester United a much-needed boost.

The trio were among eight first-team absentees for United’s shock 2-1 defeat to Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium yesterday as their week went from bad to worse.

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Darmian and Smalling were both casualties of the 3-2 Champions League loss to Wolfsburg which knocked United out and consigned them to the Europa League.

Herrera has missed three weeks because of a hamstring strain, but Louis van Gaal is hopeful that all three will be back for United’s final game before Christmas, according to United’s official website.

Wayne Rooney, Marcos Rojo, Antonio Valencia and the suspended Bastian Schweinsteiger will all miss the fixture with the Canaries and Jesse Lingard is another new injury concern.

The 22-year-old winger limped off 31 minutes into the Bournemouth humiliation and will be assessed by United’s medical staff to see how much of the festive period he will miss.

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More Stories Ander Herrera Antonio Valencia Bastian Schweinsteiger Chris Smalling Jesse Lingard Louis van Gaal Marcos Rojo Matteo Darmian Wayne Rooney