ZLATAN Ibrahimovic joined Manchester United’s lengthening injury list on Thursday (Friday, AEST), with manager Jose Mourinho saying his outlook is “fairly negative” about the striker.
Ibrahimovic limped off in the final seconds of normal time in the Europa League game against Anderlecht after hyperextending his right knee on landing, having chested down a long ball into the area. The Swedish striker looked in pain and held his head in his hands.
Centre back Marcos Rojo also went off injured in United’s 2-1 win, and Mourinho said of the pair: “I want to wait (for tests), but my feeling is not good. I want to try to be optimistic, but I’m not.”
There is barely a month left in the season and Ibrahimovic hasn’t committed to extending his stay at United beyond this season, so he might have played his last game for the club.
United is without Juan Mata (groin), Chris Smalling (leg), and Phil Jones (toe) as the team struggles to cope with the demands of its packed schedule.
Mourinho recently said Jones and Smalling wouldn’t be back until mid-May but with Rojo now out, the coach called on the England centre backs to play through the pain barrier to help out the team.
“It’s time for Jones and Smalling to be brave, to risk,” Mourinho said. “For the team, you have to do everything. You cannot do miracles. Miracles I don’t expect. You have to try to do everything to accelerate the process.”