José Mourinho admitted that Paul Pogba's injury is “long-term” amid fears the player could be out until late November. Pogba suffered a hamstring injury in United’s Champions League meeting with Basel earlier this month and initial reports suggested the problem could be a tear which would keep the player out for 12 weeks.
Mourinho keeping Pogba injury details close to his chest
Mourinho had previously refused to comment on those reports and claimed he had not even asked for an update about Pogba's status. But, while the manager still refuses address those claims, he has finally conceded there is no return for his midfield ace in the near future.
In Friday’s pre-match press conference, Mourinho told reporters: “He's injured, he cannot play tomorrow and it's not an injury that I can have the hope I have with Antonio Valencia or Phil Jones. I have the hope to see them in training. Long-term injuries I don't speak about them. Ibrahimovic, Pogba, Marcos Rojo, I don't think about these players”.
Mou listing Pogba along with Ibrahimovic and Rojo, who have been out since suffering knee ligament injuries in April, does appear worrying for United. Rojo, at least, is back training with the squad and is making good progress while Mourinho has declined, like with Pogba, to reveal any details about the knee ligament injury Ibrahimovic suffered before signing a new contract with the club.
United's long return flight home from Moscow
The coach, whose side face bottom-of-the-table Crystal Palace tomorrow afternoon, has revealed he is more concerned about the team's gruelling schedule than the standard of opposition they face. United have made an explosive start to the new campaign, but their 4-1 midweek win at CSKA Moscow in the Champions League was followed by a draining, six-hour return flight that saw the United expedition land in Manchester in the early hours of Thursday morning.
“We have to play against everybody home and away and when I look at the fixtures I only look to the period of time we have to recover from match to match”, Mourinho sighed. “That's the only thing that concerns me and makes me think. The opposition is not the problem. The mentality is very important because we played Wednesday night and we arrived in Manchester at 4am, so home 5am. And we have to play tomorrow so mentality is very important”.