Juan Mata has sent Manchester United fans a message of gratitude for their support following his groin operation last week.
The Spaniard, who has ten goals so far this season, underwent groin surgery over the international break, adding to a growing list of first team players – including Paul Pogba, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones – on the treatment table.
Speculation contines to surround when his return date will be; some reports have claimed that the 28-year-old could miss the rest of the season; others have predicted a return in time for Man United’s last three games in May.
And Mata, writing in his weekly blog, sent supporters a heartfelt message of gratitude in the wake of his operation.
“As you can imagine, I’m writing this post in not the best possible situation, but first of all I’d like to thank you for all your messages of encouragement during the last few days,” he wrote.
“This situation is new for me, after having surgery this week, but I feel positive and I’m looking forward to getting well and trying to help the team. Besides, right now your messages of support are like an extra power for me.
“Watching a game of your team on TV is not the best possible experience, but I had to do it on Saturday. It was a shame that we weren’t able to get the three points because now we would be in a better position, especially after the draw between Arsenal and City, but we have to keep going.
“We had some chances to score that goal that sometimes is so difficult to get, but we couldn’t make them. Now we have to focus on the next game against Everton at home this Tuesday, and try to win this one.
“At this moment we’re being unlucky in terms of players injured or suspended. I hope the situation gets better from now until the end of the season.”
Mata’s presence would have been vital over what promises to be a defining month in the context of United’s season. The Spaniard, whilst not explosive, has a valuable aptitude for popping up at just the right time during tight encounters, and as Mourinho’s men embark on a series of inevitably nerve-wracking contests over the April period his subtle but deadly influence could have been salutary.
As it is, though, Mata will have to watch on from the sidelines during United’s most crucial period of the season and hope, along with the rest of us, that the likes of Anthony Martial, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard can provide sufficient attacking potency.