Manchester United captain and England international – Harry Maguire – has suffered ankle ligament damage, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed.

Solskjaer said he was “hopeful” that he would play again this season with United’s Europa League final coming up and Euro 2020 starting next month as well. England manager Gareth Southgate will also be hopeful that his centre-back will be fit for the competition given how integral a member he is for the side.

The 28-year-old was seen on crutches and wearing a protective boot in the stands at Old Trafford on Tuesday as his side lost 2-1 to Leicester City in the Premier League.

Maguire will now aim to be fit for the Europa League final on 26th May but looking at him, you would not want to bet on his return in 2 weeks’ time. United play Villareal in Gdansk, Poland in the final.

England manager Gareth Southgate names his Euro 2020 squad on 25th May so Maguire’s announcement will suggest that he is due to recover in time else we will know he has a long injury layoff.┬áThe central defender suffered the injury in United’s 3-1 win at Villa Park against Aston Villa on Sunday.

Maguire

It was this Anwar el Ghazi foul that seemed to cause Harry Maguire ankle damage (Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)

“Obviously we’ve had scans and the good news is there’s no fracture,” Solskjaer said.

“[There is] ligament damage and hopefully we’ll see him again this season. Hopefully ready for the final.”

Tuesday’s match against Leicester was the first league match Maguire missed since joining United in 2019.

Speaking on BT Sport, former United captain Rio Ferdinand said: “When he walked off that pitch his heart would have been in his mouth thinking am I going to be ready?

“He’s got the first big European cup final that he’s going to be involved in coming up.

“I’ve had ankle ligament problems before and you can’t mess about with them. You’re either fit or you’re not. There’s no real in-between. The problem he’s got is that if he does go and play and forces himself in [for the final] as he might do as he’s captain, he’s risking himself for the Euros. It’s a massive call.”

England manager Gareth Southgate will be desperately hoping Harry Maguire has a safe return to full fitness.

Manchester United manager Solskjaer delivered a cautiously optimistic initial update on Maguire but it will still leave some anxiety in the Three Lions camp with the Euros starting on 13th June.

The 28-year-old has been the key man in England’s defence under Southgate since he emerged as one of the stars during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia as the English qualified for the semifinals, courtesy of a Harry Maguire header in the quarterfinals against Sweden.

Maguire is even more important given England’s vulnerability in that area with Liverpool’s Joe Gomez out, John Stones switching off at times defensively as he becomes eager to attack and the likes of Tyrone Mings and Conor Coady having the lack of major international experience.

Southgate will rely on Maguire for his experience and leadership, so will be monitoring his recovery closely and hoping to have his main defender fit in a month’s time for Europe’s biggest international competition.