Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has confirmed that injured trio Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Marcos Rojo could all feature against Newcastle United on Saturday.
Ibrahimovic has made an impressive comeback after having suffered a cruciate ligament injury in a Europa League game against Anderlecht in April. Pogba, meanwhile, has been missing since September after suffering a hamstring problem in the Champions League against Basel.
Rojo also returns, having played 45 minutes for United’s U23s in midweek after suffering a similar injury to the Swede’s in the very same game.
When asked about their recoveries ahead of the clash with Rafa Benitez’s side, Mourinho replied: “all three will be selected”.
The Portuguese spoke glowingly about his returning players, lauding Pogba’s qualities and describing Ibrahimovic as ‘incredible’.
“Paul you can see. Clearly you can see there was a Manchester United this season before and after his injury,” he explained.
“There are qualities in our football that influence our approach in matches, with Pogba and without Pogba. That’s as simple as that.
“Last season we played with Zlatan every minute.
“(We have) learned how to play without him, but he’s a very important player for us.
“So welcome back and of course he is an incredible personality to fight such an important injury. We were all saying in 2017 he will be back, but one thing is December 31, 2017 and another thing is mid-November.
“He was, as an injured player, the same super professional he is when he’s fit. So fantastic work, same as Marcos.
“He had an important injury too, a big surgery. He played with the young boys (United’s Under-23s) on Wednesday and is fine. He is confident, is also ready.
“Paul is obviously not the same dimension of injury. It was not a surgical situation, but it was also bad and all three are back.”
The United boss did move to remind fans not to expect too much too soon of the players, saying: “We can’t expect him (Ibrahimovic) to play full 90 minutes or consecutive matches. Fitness and sharpness is everything.
“Now he needs time to be back for his level, his fitness, his confidence, everything, his sharpness, but by the clinical point of view, it is fantastic to be ready.”
Finally, Mourinho rubbished suggestions that he will be given the choice of fielding Ibrahimovic or Romelu Lukaku for the rest of the season, saying: “Good players can play together.”