The MEN understands Henderson, 23, was told before the goalless draw with Crystal Palace to prepare for the possibility of starting in United’s next six games.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refused to elaborate on De Gea’s absence following United’s third consecutive goalless draw, but it is understood De Gea could miss the rest of United’s matches this month.
De Gea, 30, missed the Palace game due to personal reasons and Henderson could line up in Sunday’s Manchester derby at City, the Europa League round-of-16 first leg visit of AC Milan next Thursday, as well as the Premier League visit of West Ham on Match 14.
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United’s last two games this month are in the return leg against Milan on March 18 and the FA Cup quarter-final at Leicester four days later. Henderson has played in all five games in the FA Cup and Europa League so far this season.
If Henderson starts at City it will be the first time he has started in successive league matches for United. The England international has started 13 times so far this season.
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