On Friday, the club revealed that Martinez would spend an extensive period on the sidelines.
The Argentina centre-back fractured his metatarsal during April’s Europa League quarter-final against Sevilla, missing the remainder of the 2022/23 season, including June’s Emirates FA Cup final defeat to Manchester City.
After an operation and subsequent recovery, Licha returned in time for pre-season and started each of our opening four Premier League games, before suffering a recurrence of the problem at Arsenal last month.
Licha experienced discomfort during defeats to Brighton & Hove Albion and Bayern Munich, and it has been determined that the World Cup winner needs to seek treatment to resolve the issue.
“I can confirm, yeah. Licha Martinez will have to undergo surgery,” said the boss in a press conference to preview United’s upcoming UEFA Champions League clash with Galatasaray.
That was the only update given on the 25-year-old prior to our meeting with the Turkish side, but Ten Hag said on Friday that he was sure ‘fighter’ Martinez would come back stronger.
“That’s really sad, disappointing news. He has to go through the same process and I’m really sorry for him,” he told MUTV’s Mark Sullivan.
“The squad will miss him. As you know, we have more injuries, so we always have to deal with it as a squad. As a club, we have to deal with injuries.
“He has to be strong. He will fight back, I’m sure. He is a character.
“There is still a long season ahead and he will be fit. We have to do our job, to get ourselves in the right position, so he can contribute, and add quality, when he returns.”
Martinez is one of five first-team defenders currently unavailable to Ten Hag, along with left-backs Tyrell Malacia, Sergio Reguilon and Luke Shaw, and right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka.