Manchester United’s injury list is growing at a worrying rate as the club enter a crucial stage of the season. With Champions League qualification still possible on two fronts, Jose Mourinho will be hoping he can get his injured players back as soon as possible.
While Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo will not kick a ball again this season, Mourinho has called on both Phil Jones and Chris Smalling to step up and play through the pain barrier for the good of the team. Paul Pogba, though, is a worry ahead of this Thursday’s Manchester derby after he limped off during United’s game with Burley at the weekend.
But in a surprise boost, Juan Mata, another injured absentee, has claimed he could be back for the season run-in following a seven game lay-off that was necessitated by a groin operation. This, despite the fact that he was initially ruled out until the end of the season.
The player wrote in his own blog,
“As you can imagine, this month has been a bit too long for me due to my injury,”
“I had never been in a situation like this before (I’ve been very lucky), but the truth is I’m feeling much better now and I hope to be back with the team soon, to try to help in the last spell of the season.”
“I hope so, because that’s all I want: being always available to help and to contribute as much as I can, both on and off the pitch. A million thanks for all your messages wishing me a speedy recovery, I’m getting closer!”
Prior to this recent hiatus, Mata had not missed a Manchester United match through injury since joining the club under David Moyes in January 2014.
In his absence, United have qualified for the semi-final of the Europa League, defeating Anderlecht and setting up a tie with Celta Vigo. Should they progress to the Final in Sweden they will meet the winners of Ajax v Lyon for a place in next season’s Champions League, while also adding the Europa League to the EFL Cup that they won earlier in what will be deemed a very successful first season in the job for Jose Mourinho.
Damien McEvoy Pundit Arena
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