Wednesday 17 January 2018

Jose: Ibra' back before new year

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho expects to have Zlatan Ibrahimovic back fit before the end of the year. 

Serious knee ligament damage looked to have brought an abrupt end to the 36-year-old's time at a club where he made such an impressive impact last season. The injury saw Ibrahimovic released at the end of his one-year deal, only for the veteran's impressive rehabilitation to see United hand him a new contract in August. 

The Swede is one of several key players out through injury right now, with Paul Pogba's fine start to the season brought to a halt by a mystery hamstring injury that Mourinho has only gone as far as to say is "long-term".  Both have documented their recovery on social media, but Mourinho was only able - or willing - to offer a timescale on Ibrahimovic. "Paul is not here, I don't know when he comes back, I don't know when he's available. I have no idea about it," the United boss said ahead of today's clash at Huddersfield.  "Zlatan is here, he's working here, he's under our control.  "He's working as I would expect, so, so, so, so hard, but he's not to be back in the next week or in a couple of weeks.

Let him take his time and be back when everybody feels is the right moment. "Do I believe he will be back in 2017? Yes, I do." Ibrahimovic and Pogba join a lengthy list of absentees for today's trip to Huddersfield, where Marouane Fellaini, Eric Bailly, Michael Carrick and Marcos Rojo will again be unavailable.  Luke Shaw is "working" as Phil Jones pushes to be involved against the Terriers. Meanwhile, Scott McTominay has signed a new and improved contract with United to stay at the club until at least 2021.  The 20-year-old academy product has been with the club since the age of five and made his competitive debut at Arsenal towards the end of last season.

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