LONDON: Manchester United’s Premier title bid has suffered a major blow with the revelation that France midfielder Paul Pogba will be a long-term absentee with a mysterious hamstring injury.
Manager Jose Mourinho has bracketed Pogba’s injury with those from which Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo are still recovering. The 24-year-old limped off early in the club’s Champions League tie against Basel.
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.
He said: “Pogba is 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.
“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.”
Manchester United face Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday.
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.