Mourinho discusses player injuries; Pogba now considered a long-term absentee

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed during his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace that both Michael Carrick and Phil Jones will miss the fixture, both also missing the 4-1 victory over CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Champions League in Russia on Wednesday evening. It will be a big blow for United, as their injuries are starting to take hold at this stage of the season. United already have Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo on the injury list with Paul Pogba added in the last few weeks.

Antonio Valencia and Marouane Fellaini were both added to the crocked list ahead of the trip to Moscow, both players not travelling with the rest of the squad. It means that Mourinho has been left with just Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera in midfield with Academy graduate Scott McTominay brought into the travelling squad for the Russia match, although he did not play a part in the match. Anthony Martial came off in the late stages of that match with a knock, but along with Valencia and Fellaini, he could be available this weekend.

Mourinho, speaking in his press conference on Friday afternoon confirmed to the official Manchester United website about both Carrick and Jones, who will miss the Palace match this weekend, saying:

“They are out. They were out and tomorrow some will be out. What I’m saying is that from all the injuries we had, I hope that I can have some players available for tomorrow.

“We have to train and make decisions after training [today]. But I hope some of the players that couldn’t play in Moscow can recover.”

Paul Pogba has been subject to much speculation since he came off after 19 minutes in the 3-0 victory over FC Basel in the Champions League over a fortnight ago, speculation suggesting he will be out of action for twelve weeks, something Mourinho has dismissed, but in Friday’s press conference, the Portuguese manager labelled Pogba as a long-term injury along with both Ibrahimovic and Rojo, saying:

“He’s injured [Pogba]. He cannot play tomorrow and it’s not an injury that I can have the hope like I can have with Valencia or Jones. With them, I have the hope to see them training and to have a positive answer. For long-term injuries, I don’t speak about them, so Ibra, Pogba, Rojo and these players, I don’t think about them.”

Speculation will run rife again after Mourinho confirmed that Pogba is now a long-term injury, which will be a big blow for United, but one which McTominay and others could benefit from. Injuries have always been a thing at United, especially recently. It is because of injury that United have been able to play talented youth, Gary Neville taking advantage of the around 25 years ago with Paul Parker on the sidelines, Neville making the right-back position his own, proving himself and becoming the Manchester United captain.

Mourinho has stated that he will not speak about Pogba, Ibrahimovic and Rojo, so I doubt there will be official confirmation as to how long Pogba will be out of action. Mourinho has confirmed that both Ibrahimovic and Rojo will be out until the second half of the season, suggesting both could be back, in some respect, during the month of January, seeming like new signings for United as the pair would have been out of action since April 2017. With a bit of luck, Pogba will not be out for that long, possibly a month or two – unless Mourinho is pulling the wool over our eyes.

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