Manchester United's Rafael back in training on Friday and he will wear protective mask

Rafael will be back in training for Manchester United later this week.

Manchester United defender Rafael has confirmed he will return to training on Friday despite suffering an injury blow during the club’s FA Cup match against Yeovil last weekend.

The Brazilian right-back was substituted at half-time in the third round tie, but ESPN is now reporting comments from the player’s official Instagram account, in which he said of his fractured cheekbone, “Operation was perfect back training normal with mask on Friday very happy.”

The news comes as another welcome boost for United manager Louis van Gaal, who saw both Rafael and fellow full-back Luke Shaw leave the field at the interval in United’s 2-0 victory.

But Shaw’s substitution was reportedly a precaution while Rafael also looks like he could be available for the club’s next match – a home game against Southampton on Sunday.

The 24-year-old has made 10 appearances for United this season but remains prone to injury, while some fans believe there is always a poor decision waiting to slip into an otherwise fine performance.

With United linked with Seamus Coleman and Dani Alves to name but two, Rafael will know he has to impress van Gaal whenever he can, proving he has what it takes to be a regular for United under the Dutchman.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch