Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will not rush Edinson Cavani back to action for Manchester United this season as the striker continues his recovery from a knock sustained in training.
The Uruguayan striker has yet to start a match this campaign with his only action being limited to a 37-minute cameo appearance as a second half substitute in last month’s victory at Wolves.
The 34-year-old took a while to find his full fitness last season but he hit top form in the closing months of the campaign, netting 10 goals in 11 appearances - including in the Europa League final.
Cavani may find it tougher to get regular game time at Old Trafford this season following the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo, with the two sharing similar roles leading the line of attack.
The striker penned a one-year contract extension with United at the tail end of last season to end speculation that he would return to South America this season.
He sat out the opening Premier League games against Leeds and Southampton due to being granted an extended break in summer, while he was injured for this week’s matches against Newcastle and Young Boys.
Solskjaer has insisted that patience will be key with the Uruguayan striker to allow him to recover full fitness and overcome niggly injuries ahead of his return to action.
That means Cavani will not feature in this weekend’s Premier League match against West Ham but could return in time to face the Hammers in their EFL Cup clash in the midweek.
The Norwegian boss told reporters: "Edinson hopefully will start training with us after the weekend, maybe Monday, so maybe involved on Wednesday. He had a fantastic season last season, the impact he made when he got his fitness, he struggles with niggly injuries early on.
"We feel that to get the best out of him this season we need to get him 100% fit and not rush him. We’ve got a strong squad that will cope with having to let players heal and not risk any further injuries.
"I see Edinson having a massive impact, he’s that type of personality and player. He can’t wait to play and he’s working really hard to get back on the pitch."
The return of Ronaldo will mean that Cavani will have limited game-time but it is likely that the pair will share a rotation role for many matches this campaign as the Uruguayan had never planned to play from the start in more than one match per week.
Jadon Sancho has also bolstered United’s attacking options alongside the return of Jesse Lingard from a loan spell at West Ham, although Dan James has moved on to Leeds.
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