Belfast Telegraph

Jose Mourinho views Paul Pogba as being out in the 'long term'

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has bracketed Paul Pogba's injury as "long-term" - comparing it to those Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo are recovering from.

The severity of the hamstring issue that caused the 24-year-old to limp off early in the club's Champions League return against Basel has been shrouded in mystery.

Mourinho has repeatedly claimed not to know how bad Pogba's injury is as the club continued to assess him in-house, as well as seeking specialist advice.

The United manager is still unwilling to put a timescale on the injury, but 17 days on from the France international's setback the Portuguese has revealed it is a long-term issue.

"He's injured, he cannot play tomorrow and it's not an injury that I can have the hope like I have with (Antonio) Valencia or (Phil) Jones," Mourinho said of Pogba.

"I have the hope to see them in training and to have a positive answer, so long-term injuries I don't speak about them.

"So Ibra and Pogba and Rojo, these players I don't think about them."

Pogba, Rojo and Ibrahimovic are joined on the sidelines by Michael Carrick, while Jones and Valencia are to be assessed having missed the midweek Champions League match at CSKA Moscow.

Marouane Fellaini also missed out with an ankle injury that is still under assessment, while Anthony Martial went off in the 4-1 win in Russia.

"We have to train and to make decisions after training, but I hope some of the players that couldn't play in Moscow (can play)," he said.

"I hope maybe not all of them but some can recover.

"They were out and tomorrow some will be out.

"What I am saying is that from all the injuries we have, I hope we can have some players available tomorrow."

Saturday's home match against Roy Hodgson's Crystal Palace has meant a quick turnaround for United.

Having made a late arrival back from Wednesday's Champions League clash at CSKA Moscow, they now have to get themselves ready to face a side yet to muster a Premier League point or even a goal.

"The mentality is very important because we played Wednesday night and we arrive in Manchester at 4am, so home 5am," Mourinho said.

"We have to play tomorrow so mentality is very important.

"There's a long time to go, just the beginning (for Palace) - experienced manager, good players, good club and long time to fight to reach their objectives."

United start the weekend on 16 points along with leaders Manchester City after a successful start to the campaign.

Mourinho's Reds are, though, yet to face a side in the current Premier League top 10, although the manager was dismissive when asked if that was the context behind his call for humility

"I don't know," he said. "We are playing the matches that we have and we are doing well. That is the only thing I can say.

"We have to play against everybody at home and away, and when I look to the fixtures I only look to the period of time we have to recover from match to match. It's the only thing that concerns me and makes me think.

"The opponent is not a problem. We have to play against everyone."

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