Michael Carrick set for Man United return vs. Derby, Matteo Darmian out
Michael Carrick could make his Manchester United comeback against Derby in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday.
But Matteo Darmian will miss the tie at the iPro Stadium, with United facing the Championship side without all five of their senior full-backs.
United vice-captain Carrick, 34, is yet to play in 2016 and has missed the club's last six matches, but manager Louis van Gaal believes the midfielder will be unable to play the full 90 minutes.
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"It is very good he is coming back," Van Gaal, who is unsure if midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger and defender Phil Jones are on the comeback trail, told MUTV.
"I cannot say [if they are close]. Every time I make a remark about injuries it is always difficult, because injuries have developments and you have to wait and see."
Schweinsteiger has missed United's last three games with a knee problem, while Jones has sat out the previous four matches with an ankle injury.
United right-back Darmian came off in last week's 1-0 defeat to Southampton when he was spitting blood and had to be taken to hospital, with Van Gaal saying he feared he had a major chest or rib problem.
Louis van Gaal tells #MUTV Darmian will miss Derby but the injury isn't too serious. Carrick may feature but won't play the full 90 minutes.- Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 28, 2016
However, the former Torino player, who joined the Red Devils last summer, was quick to allay such fears and, although the game at Derby comes too soon for him, Van Gaal confirmed he will not be a long-term absentee.
United are without Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young -- none of whom are expected back before March after suffering serious injuries.
Shaw has a broken leg, Rojo has had shoulder surgery, Valencia underwent a foot operation and Young has a groin problem.