Manchester United’s Rafael could play in face mask following successful surgery

According to ESPN, Manchester United defender Rafael could play in a face mask after undergoing surgery on a fractured cheekbone.

The Brazilian right-back, 24, suffered the injury in the FA Cup third round clash against Yeovil Town, which Manchester United won 2-0. Paddy McNair was forced to play right-back after he came off. Rafael has been in and out of the team this season with injury limiting his game time, so manager Louis Van Gaal will be pleased to have him returning.

“Operation was perfect back training normal with mask on Friday very happy,” said Rafael on social media website Instgram. The likes of Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young have played as right wing-backs in Rafael’s absence, but the Brazilian could well return for United’s weekend clash against Southampton.

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