MARCUS RASHFORD could miss the opening two months of the new Premier League season after deciding to have shoulder surgery.
The Manchester United and England striker had a scan on Tuesday to determine the severity of the muscle tear in his shoulder he has been managing since last November.
Rashford, 23, took pain-killing injections to ensure he was available for the Euros.
But he has opted to have an operation after the problem did not improve over time.
A source close to Rashford said: “Marcus’ desire to get the shoulder corrected was strong towards the latter part of the season.
“But expecting to play a greater role with England this summer and taking immense pride in representing his country he embarked on camp with the backing of both domestic and national team doctors.
PREM MATCHES RASHFORD COULD MISS
INJURED Rashford could be out for Man Utd’s following league fixtures
Aug 14 – Leeds (h)
Aug 22 – Southampton (a)
Aug 29 – Wolves (a)
Sept 11 – Newcastle (h)
Sept 18 – West Ham (a)
Sept 25 – Aston Villa (h)
Oct 2 – Everton (h)
Oct 16 – Leicester (a)
“He has been managing the pain and has every intention to get the surgery done sooner rather than later.”
Rashford wants surgery immediately but it is unlikely to happen until the end of this month, with the BBC reporting the chosen surgeon is unavailable.
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It is believed Rashford will then have to wait six weeks after the op before he can resume training.
That means the forward could be on the sidelines for up to 12 weeks in total.
The news is a major blow to United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who is bidding to end the club’s eight-year wait for a Prem title.
Rashford will miss the season opener against Leeds on August 14 and could miss eight league games and three Champions League ties in total.
He could also miss five England World Cup qualifiers in September and October as well.
Solskjaer has been handed a boost with Jadon Sancho completing his medical ahead of a £73million move.
Rashford, 23, and new team-mate Sancho, 21, alongside Bukayo Saka, 19, suffered vile racist abuse after their penalty shootout misses.
It saw England lose in the Euros final, with the brave trio then targeted afterwards.
Rashford suffered further attacks after his mural in Withington was vandalised.
But the inspirational forward, who only played 84 minutes for England at the Euros and also battled an ankle injury last season, revealed he was ‘on the verge of tears’ as his fans responded with messages of support.
He said: “I can take critique of my performance all day long, my penalty wasn’t good enough, it should have gone in.
“But I will never apologise for who I am and where I came from.
“I’ve felt no prouder moment than wearing these three lions on my chest and seeing my family cheer me in a crowd of tens of thousands.
“The messages I’ve received today have been positively overwhelming and seeing the response in Withington had me on the verge of tears.”