Ralf Rangnick has confessed that he will give Bruno Fernandes every possible second to prove his fitness ahead of Tuesday's Champions League last 16 second leg against Atletico Madrid.
Fernandes was a surprise omission from the Manchester United squad that saw off Tottenham at the weekend, with Rangnick later confirming that the Portugal international had tested positive for Covid-19.
That makes him an obvious doubt for Tuesday's visit of Atletico, which is finely balanced after United were fortunate to escape the first leg with a 1-1 draw.
“I don’t know,” Rangnick confessed when asked if Fernandes would be ready for Atletico. "We will have to wait and see until Tuesday. This will probably be a last-minute race with him – due to Covid.”
The signs appear to be good for United as the Manchester Evening News note that Fernandes reported to team training on Monday, but whether he will be fit enough to play any part in Tuesday's game remains to be seen.
Rangnick was slightly more optimistic about the fitness of both Scott McTominay and Luke Shaw, who missed the Spurs game with a calf injury and a positive Covid test respectively.
“With Scotty, I hope so but he had some muscular problems with his calf. That’s why we decided not to play him [against Spurs], because Scotty, quite like Fred, is only valuable if he can perform with 100% of his physical capacity.
“Luke hopefully will be back in training Monday."
United dominated possession in the first leg but a lack of urgency in attack played right into Atletico's hands. Diego Simeone's men bagged an early goal through Joao Felix and rarely looked under threat before Anthony Elanga's late equaliser.