Manchester United centre-back Aoife Mannion has suffered an ACL injury, the club has confirmed, but successfully underwent recent surgery and is now focused on her recovery.
The news is a tragic personal blow for Mannion, who suffered a previous ACL injury as recently as October 2019 not long after joining Manchester City from Birmingham – it ultimately limited her to only a handful of appearances in two seasons on the blue side of Manchester.
The 26-year-old had impressed at United during the first half of the season and was beginning to recapture the form that saw her named in successive WSL teams of the year in 2017/18 and 2018/19 while at Birmingham, as well as quickly becoming a fan favourite at Leigh Sports Village.
Mannion hasn’t featured for United since January and the full nature of her injury – it was only known to be an unspecified knee issue – hadn’t been disclosed until now.
But her surgery was a success and attention is already on the road to recovery.
“I’m determined more than ever to return to the team,” Mannion told club media. “Thankfully I had successful surgery a few weeks ago and am recovering well. I want to thank our fans for their continued support and can’t wait to pull on the red shirt again.”
ACL injuries will typically mean 6-12 months of recovery time depending on the severity.
The centre of defence is an area of the pitch where United are already stretched to the limit. January signing Diane Caldwell was the only fit centre-back in the first-team squad for the midweek clash with West Ham, forcing midfielder Katie Zelem to help out as an emergency alternative.
Maria Thorisdottir missed the trip to east London but is expected to be available by the time United face Everton at Old Trafford next weekend. Millie Turner also continues to recover from an artery problem in her neck but her progress in recent weeks has been very positive.