Marcus Rashford is burned out and that’s why he suffered an injury in the FA Cup win against Wolves, according to Glen Johnson.
The 22-year-old replaced the Red Devils in the third round at Old Trafford in the second half when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team chased the lead.
The breakthrough came just moments after its launch when Juan Mata led United into the fourth round with a 1-0 win.
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Marcus Rashford is facing a race to be fit for Sunday’s Premier League game against rival Liverpool
However, the Red Devils suffered a severe blow when Rashford was replaced by Jesse Lingard after an injury in the 16th minute.
Solskjaer admitted his gamble with the striker’s “backfired” fitness after being replaced as a precaution in the 4-0 win over Norwich.
In this match, Rashford made his 200th appearance for his youth club – the fourth youngest player to reach this milestone in United history – and scored two goals before retiring to reach 19 in all competitions this season.
The cup game on Wednesday was also his 30th appearance of the season and Johnson believes Solskjaer made a “big mistake” that does not rest the English front man. He’ll likely skip Sunday at Anfield to play against Premier League leaders Liverpool.
“He’s obviously a fit boy, but games catch up with you,” the former defender told White and Sawyer.
“It’s the kind of injury that looks like a burnout injury in some ways – there was minimal to no contact and he only felt something in his back. Usually you only get problems when you are much older and later are.
“I think he needs some care.
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Marcus Rashford has played in almost every Man United game this season and his fitness seems to be suffering
“You seem to have done the right thing by getting him off the pitch early enough against Norwich, but then you’re making a big mistake by hiring him last night.
“The player will want to play – as a footballer you don’t care whether you are 50, 60 or 70 percent, you still want to play – so it is up to the people in the back room to protect him.
“They knew he was eliminated from the game as a precaution and that was the right decision. So they should have protected him further by not even putting him on the bench.
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“You are either fit enough to play or not. If you are not fit, there is no point sitting on the bench.
“In my opinion, the staff in the back room should take better care of him because if the player has the chance to play, he will want to play even if he is 50 percent there.”
“Now he’s going to be longer and may miss this big game, and it’s not good for him, his teammates, or the club. It was negative for everyone yesterday.”