Man Utd Team News: Mourinho Confirms Double Injury Boost But Duo Ruled Out
Man Utd will be looking to keep the pressure on the top four when they take on West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on Saturday evening.
Ahead of the game, Jose Mourinho has been speaking to the media at his pre-match press conference this afternoon and he’s offered ManUtd.com a team news and injury update.
The Reds boss confirmed a huge injury boost with the news that Chris Smalling is set to return to the squad after finally recovering from a troublesome broken toe which has hampered him in recent weeks.
Smalling has been on the sidelines since United’s 4-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on October 23rd but the defender is now back in contention to face the Baggies this weekend.
The England international’s return comes at the perfect time as Eric Bailly has been ruled out of tomorrow’s trip to the Midland’s after picking up another knee problem during the 2-1 win over Crystal Palace in midweek.
Bailly was forced off shortly after half-time and was replaced by Matteo Darmian sparking fears he’d suffered another serious knee injury having only recently returned to action following two months out.
However, the Ivorian took to Instagram last night to ease fears over the seriousness of the issue and Mourinho has now confirmed that while Bailly won’t be available tomorrow, they hope he’ll be back for the busy festive period.
Mourinho told the clubs website:
“He [Bailly] can’t be in this game but it doesn’t look as serious as we first thought. Normally we hope to have him back for Christmas period. Smalling is coming back for this game.”
It will come as a huge relief that Bailly’s injury isn’t serious as he’s become a key part of United’s first team since moving to the club in the summer and Mourinho will hope to have him back for the visit of Sunderland to Old Trafford on Boxing Day.
However, the 22-year-old will only be available for little over a week before he’ll be due to link-up with the Ivory Coast squad at the start of January ahead of the African Cup of Nations in Gabon, so Smalling’s return to fitness couldn’t have been better timed.
Mourinho also confirmed to the clubs website at his press conference that Henrikh Mkhitaryan will continue to miss out with an ankle injury that he suffered against Tottenham last weekend.
The Armenian international picked up the problem after scoring the only goal of the game at Old Trafford but United are hoping he’ll be back in the squad to face Sunderland next week.
The final update was regarding Luke Shaw and the left-back will also sit out the game against West Brom tomorrow as he continues to nurse a knock which has kept him out of the last seven games in all competitions.
In Shaw’s absence, Daley Blind will be hoping to keep his place at left-back but Matteo Darmian may be deployed on the left with Antonio Valencia back after serving his one-game suspension.
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