Jesse Lingard has declared on social media that a full recovery from a groin injury sustained last month “will take time”.
The 25-year-old, who excelled at the World Cup in Russia, last featured during the League Cup defeat to Derby County last month.
He posted a video on social media which showed him working hard on a treadmill, prompting speculation that the attacking midfielder would be available to play Chelsea.
But Lingard, in an Instagram post, has told supporters that the recovery process from his injury will require some patience.
Jose Mourinho will be expected to explain the exact nature of Lingard’s injury when he talks to the press on Friday morning but the early signs are not particularly promising.
The Englishman made 48 appearances last season – 30 of which were starts – before going the distance at the World Cup in Russia, playing in six games (and going into extra time twice). His groin injury – possibly a pulled groin, which would leave him out for another month at least – would have no doubt stemmed from being overstrained following his biggest year yet.
He is a big player for Mourinho, who will need to look elsewhere to find an efficient bridge between midfield and attack.