Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has revealed that Zlatan Ibrahimovic could return to first-team training by the end of January or beginning of February. The 36-year-old returned to Premier League action for the Red Devils in November, but his gametime was rather restricted after he suffered a minor recurrence of his knee problem, which required surgery back in May.
Speaking ahead of the Stoke City game, the Portuguese tactician confirmed that the big Swede felt uneasiness with his left knee, but he is hopeful that the veteran will show his presence in training by the end of the month, he said via the club’s official website: “He was starting having minutes here and there, he had a start, he had 60 minutes of one game and started another one, and had 45 [minutes], and he was not happy with his feelings.
“He consulted other doctors and other opinions, and we all made the decision to stop treatment. When he’s feeling really good, he can come back to work. The date for him to be back to training with the team was around the end of January or beginning of February, so let’s hope his feelings are better and we have him as soon as possible.”
Zlatan’s absence has not had any impact on United’s proceedings this campaign with Romelu Lukaku excelling in the frontline. The Swede’s 28-goal tally last term was always going to be difficult to replicate following the serious injury last season, and his latest setback could end his Old Trafford spell at the end of the campaign.
A recent report has suggested that United are already preparing for the marksman’s exit in the summer, with Torino’s Andrea Belotti identified as a potential marquee signing for the next transfer window. Meanwhile, Zlatan does not appear ready to hang up his boots, and a move to either MLS or the Chinese Super League has been touted in June.