Zlatan Ibrahimovic is out of action once more for Manchester United, manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed.
The Swedish striker returned from a serious knee ligament injury in November, but despite starting a couple of games in December, will now return to the treatment table.
Ibrahimovic suffered a double knee ligament blow in the UEFA Europa League against Belgian side Anderlecht at Old Trafford in April of last year. He was expected to return at the start of 2018 but the self-labelled ‘lion’ of football came back ahead of schedule. It now seems he returned too early.
Speaking ahead of Monday evening’s Premier League fixture against Stoke City, Mourinho said: “Zlatan is injured and is not totally happy with his condition.
“He fought like a tiger to be back which he did. He was starting having minutes here and there.
“He consulted a Doctor and we made the decision to stop. When [he is] feeling good, [he will] come back to work.”
It’s disappointing for Ibrahimovic and United’s fans, who were hugely excited for the full return of last season’s talisman.
Despite frustrating at points in the 2016/17 campaign, Ibrahimovic netted 28 times for the Reds, including leading them to EFL Cup glory at Wembley with a double in the final.
United will want Ibrahimovic back, purely in terms of competition. Romelu Lukaku looks like he’s returning to form after a difficult couple of months, but Marcus Rashford is in severe need of a rest after a jampacked 2016 and it’s never bad to have a number of options in attack.