Jose Mourinho has called on Chris Smalling and Phil Jones to be brave when it comes to returning from injury after Marcos Rojo was stretchered off during Manchester United’s second leg 2-1 win over Anderlecht in the Europa League quarter-final.
The Argentine, along with Eric Bailly, hadn’t missed a minute of action during Man United’s last five games prior to the encounter with Rene Weiler’s men after Smalling and Jones had picked up ‘long-term’ injuries over the international break.
Rojo was forced off following a nasty clash of knees with Alexandru Chipciu after just 23 minutes; Mourinho, when asked about the 27-year-old’s condition in the aftermath, was far from optimistic.
The 54-year-old added that Smalling and Jones may have to be rushed back from injury amidst a growingly treacherous defensive injury crisis at Old Trafford.
Mourinho on the centre-back injuries: 'It is time for Jones & Smalling to be brave & to risk'
— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) April 20, 2017
Mourinho confirmed ahead of the Chelsea game that Smalling and Jones would be ready to return by mid-May – or, in other words, ahead the closing few games of the season.
But with visits to Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal coming up, along with a Europa League semi-final, it feels as if the Portuguese will have to call on the pair to share the workload with Eric Bailly – United’s only fit recognised centre back – and Daley Blind over the next few weeks.