Tyrell Malacia's mysterious season-long absence from Man Utd explained

  • Tyrell Malacia has not played at all in 2023/24 season
  • Man Utd's injury crisis has left them short at left-back at times this term
  • New report has poured cold water on conspiracies regarding Malacia's whereabouts
Malacia has not featured at all this term
Malacia has not featured at all this term / Malcolm Couzens/GettyImages

Manchester United's Tyrell Malacia has missed all of the 2023/24 season due to several complications around a knee injury sustained last summer, according to a report.

Malacia has not played a single minute of football this term and it is probable that he will not feature at all before the season's end, despite United insisting on multiple occasions he had been nearing a return to action. His lack of presence on social media and in public with teammates has also contributed to conspiracies questioning whether there had been falsehoods regarding his whereabouts.

The Athletic report the left-back underwent surgery on long-standing knee issue upon returning for pre-season training last July, but he chose to go receive treatment from a surgeon of his choosing in his native Netherlands rather than United's proposed option in London. Malacia's camp have admitted he also did not keep in regular contact with the club or provide many updates on his progress.

Complications with the procedure arose in October when scans revealed fragments of cartilage remained around Malacia's meniscus, and the decision was soon made to undergo corrective surgery, which set back his progress by another few months. This was confirmed by United in December, insisting he would be ready to return in early 2024.

Luke Shaw
Shaw has also spent time on the sidelines through injury / Alex Livesey - Danehouse/GettyImages

United had brought in Sergio Reguilon on loan for the 2023/24 season from Tottenham Hotspur as cover for the injured Malacia and Luke Shaw, but the Red Devils cut short this deal at the start of January as they believed the two left-backs of their own were nearing returns from injury.

While Shaw did come back only to fall victim to another injury, Malacia is still not yet ready to rejoin team training.

In the meantime, Malacia is undergoing a rigorous solo training regime between Manchester, the Netherlands and Barcelona, and there is hope his prolonged absence this season will not have any long-term impact on his health despite the likelihood of not returning to the United fold until pre-season.