Jesse Lingard has missed Manchester United’s last five matches due to a muscle injury, but the 25-year-old could likely make a return ahead of this weekend’s clash against Everton.
Jose Mourinho has revealed that he’s unsure of Lingard’s fitness and he will decide on Saturday if the England international will be fit enough for Sunday’s game.
When asked in his pre-match press conference if Jesse’s absence has been longer than first anticipated, the boss replied: “Yes, he came from the World Cup [with England] with that problem. He thought wrongly that the holiday period would bring things to normality. Then he thought wrongly that keep working or start working with the team would improve the situation and then he felt in an impossible situation to play football.
“So now he’s going back and doing the work to try to be 100 per cent [fit] and, in this moment, he’s almost there, because of the team’s needs.
“Can he help us in the next match [against Everton]? That’s the question we have to answer tomorrow [Saturday] or if we wait one more week and give one more week of stability to the work, so he can be back next week. So, he’s almost there.”
Mourinho will be happy with the return of Lingard having been unable to make a change in the Champions League game against Juventus due to lack of attacking options.
Asked why he made no changes, Mourinho said after the Juve: “Well, you have to bear in mind that Alexis Sanchez was in the stands, Jesse Lingard was in the stands.
“Fellaini may or may not have been in the stands – he might have been at home I didn’t see him. And the only really attacking options I had on the bench was a young 18-year-old lad whose never played in the first team before.
“And I didn’t think, given the dynamic of the game, it would have been appropriate to put him on.
“You can’t expect a young kid coming on, making his debut in a game like that, to be able to give me something like scoring a goal. So basically that’s why I didn’t make any changes and just stuck with the players we had out on the pitch.”