The Brazil captain started for his country in their third World Cup 2026 qualifier at home to Venezuela in Cuiaba on Friday, which saw Arsenal defender Gabriel’s first-half header from a Neymar corner cancelled out by Eduard Bello’s stunning overhead kick five minutes from time in a 1-1 draw at Arena Pantana that saw the Selecao lose their 100 per cent start to fall two points behind rivals Argentina.
However, Casemiro - who lined up alongside Newcastle’s Bruno Guimaraes in midfield - was substituted 11 minutes early in that contest, replaced by long-term Liverpool transfer target Andre Trindade of Fluminense.
Brazil’s caretaker boss Fernando Diniz has since revealed that the 31-year-old requested to be taken off due to an ankle problem.
“He asked to come off due to a blow to his ankle,” Diniz told the media.
United will anxiously await further update on Casemiro’s fitness status, with Brazil travelling to face Uruguay in another World Cup qualifier at the Estadio Centenario in Montevideo on Wednesday.
The former Real Madrid stalwart has been a vital performer for Ten Hag since moving to Old Trafford from the Bernabeu in a high-profile £70million transfer last summer, playing the full 90 minutes in every Premier League game before being hauled off at half-time for Christian Eriksen in the dramatic comeback win over Brentford last time out in a decision that his manager described as “purely tactical”.
However, Casemiro has struggled for form this term despite scoring four goals already and was at fault for the Bees’ opener in that game through Mathias Jensen, just days after being sent off in the shock home Champions League defeat by Galatasaray for two bookable offences as he tried to atone for a huge error from goalkeeper Andre Onana.
Injuries have been a persistent theme of United’s dire start to the 2023/24 season under Ten Hag, with the likes of Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Tyrell Malacia, Raphael Varane, Sergio Reguilon, Kobbie Mainoo and Amad Diallo all currently sidelined, while several other players have missed time. Jadon Sancho also remains unavailable for selection amid his dispute with the manager.
They return to action after the international break away at winless bottom club Sheffield United next Saturday night, before a home Champions League meeting with FC Copenhagen is followed by the small matter of a top-flight Manchester derby at home to reigning champions City and a Carabao Cup last-16 showdown with high-flying Newcastle at Old Trafford.