The trio, all of whom featured against Newcastle United, did not play over the international break due to injury problems.
Speaking to the club’s official website, the 55-year-old emphasised that his team had a number of injury problems ahead of the game.
“The squad shape is that everybody available is selected,” he said. “[I had] a bit of everything [in the international break]. We work here with the players that stayed here. I went to an international match [in Serbia] as you know.”
“Then we came back and we were waiting for the boys to come back from their national teams. Some came back in good condition and the happiness of some good results. Some came back with injuries, injuries that we were aware of when they happened and the national teams were correct in sending the boys back.
“We also had surprises with players that we had no idea that they were injured and they arrived with important injuries.”
“Players that are going to make an effort to be available for the team, like Herrera. He trained two days but, with the situation we have, is one step forward and he’s ready to help us.”
Mourinho says he's got injury problems ahead of the trip to Chelsea. Shaw, Matic and Fellaini didn't play during the international break. Says others have come back with problems. Ander Herrera has only trained two days but might have to play "to help".
— Rob Dawson (@RobDawsonESPN) October 19, 2018
Mourinho is unlikely to give any players who were injured over the international break starts at Stamford Bridge. This may mean that a midfield trio of Paul Pogba, Fred and Herrera materialises – assuming the first two came back from internationals injury free.
It remains to be seen exactly which players, aside from the ones named, have come back from the international break with injuries of some kind.