There was a worrying moment in the 44th minute of Manchester United’s FA Cup tie against Watford this evening, with Eric Bailly unable to move and receiving treatment after a nasty collision.
A speculative cross-cum-shot from Nathaniel Chalobah looped the ball into the box, with William Troost-Ekong rising high in an attempt to head the ball into the back of the net.
Dean Henderson, who has been handed another chance to shine in cup competitions this evening, contested the ball, with this aerial battle between stopper and Ekong unfortunately sandwiching Bailly.
With Henderson rushing out and jumping, the 23-year-old’s knee smashed into Bailly’s head, causing the centre-back to crash to the floor between his teammate and Troost-Ekong.
The incident bared some serious impact on Bailly’s neck, the defender couldn’t move his upper body at all after the moment, with players around and the on-rushing physios holding his neck straight.
Thankfully Bailly was able to walk off the pitch, albeit with some assistance, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced the warrior with Harry Maguire.
Pictures from BT Sport.
The fact Bailly was upright – and didn’t need to be stretchered off the pitch – has to be taken as a positive sign for now.
Bailly had played the entire 90 minutes of four of United’s last five games after returning from injury, with the injury-prone Ivorian looking dominant before he was rested in the defeat to rivals Man City.