Tahith Chong has returned to Man Utd from his loan spell at Birmingham City after suffering a groin injury.
United confirmed on Wednesday that Chong needed surgery to repair a ruptured femur, and will miss the next four to five months of action.
The Dutch youth international began to make an impression in Birmingham after playing 13 times for the Blues, and manager Lee Bowyer expressed his disappointment over Chong’s injury and departure.
“Unfortunately he had to have surgery today, 16 weeks he is out now. Something as small as it happened. Standing on the side of the pitch, a five-yard pass into the pitch. No one near him, no challenges or anything and he has damaged groin, says Bowyer.
“It’s a huge loss, everyone knows how he has been since he was here. He’s been a huge player for us. So it’s hard to take but the most important thing now for Tahith is that he gets his rehab right, which he Han will go back to Manchester United now and they will take care of him.
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“He has been fantastic here, we will definitely miss him.”
In a post on Instagram, Chong revealed his pain at being excluded for such a long period and thanked Birmingham for the opportunities they gave him.
“As a player, it hurts to tell you this, but unfortunately it’s life and it’s football,” he said.
“I have been injured and will be out for a while. I would like to thank everyone at Birmingham City Football Club for all they have done for me [in the] past months.
“The players, the staff and everyone involved have made me feel very welcome from day one. The coach has helped me a lot and shown a lot of confidence in me, something I will not forget.
“A special mention to the fans who, from day one, have supported me in a way that has helped me tremendously. Focus on recovery now and coming back stronger.”