Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho expects Zlatan Ibrahimovic to return from injury before the end of the year.
Ibrahimovic has been out since April after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury during United’s match with Anderlecht. Initial assessments projected the Swedish striker could be out for a year and some speculation that his career could be over.
The 36-year-old underwent knee surgery by renowned surgeon Dr Freddie Fu in Pittsburgh and was warned not to rush back to training, but he has recently been working hard on his recovery at United’s gym at Carrington training complex, and medical staff are impressed with his progress.
Speaking at the pre-Huddersfield press conference at the Aon Training Complex, Mourinho spoke confidently of the Swede’s recovery.
“Zlatan will be back. Zlatan is working here and under control, working as I would expect – so, so hard,” he said.
“He’s not going to be back next week or a couple of weeks. Let him take his time and be back when everybody feels is the right moment.
“Do I believe he’ll be back in 2017? Yes I do. But it’s just a feeling.”
And now, during the last week the striker has been back in training with the first team, although physical contact is being carefully managed.
Such is his progress Mourinho has even included him in the Champions League squad, although was left out of the squad that travelled to Portugal to face Benefica on Wednesday night.
Cole, who is recovering from a kidney transplant surgery spoke to MUTV about the strikers return.
‘I had a chat with Zlatan when he was in the gym the other day. I think he is looking forward to coming back, most probably in December or January time.
‘I think he will definitely bring something to the football team, as we already know. After last season, he was fantastic. It will be nice to see him back when he returns.’