He was the club’s Player of the Month for August, but suffered a serious knee injury while playing against Chelsea on 23 October and has been left on the sidelines for the last eight matches.
However, the Ivorian has made a swift recovery and returned just in time as Man United head into a busy schedule of fixtures during the Christmas period as he was named as a substitute for Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Everton.
Speaking about his return to the first-team, Mourinho claims it’s brilliant timing ahead of a busy month.
“We need that,” he said. “It’s impossible for the same players to play every match and in this moment we are having that because of a lack of available options.
“So to have Eric back is good news, even though it is only for a few weeks because we know he goes to the Africa Cup of Nations very soon [in January], but at least in this busy period of Christmas we have one more option. That’s important.”
After sitting on the bench against Everton, hopes are Bailly will be able to make his comeback when United face Zorya Luhansk in the final Europa League Group A match on Thursday.
Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo both started at centre-back at Goodison Park for the fifth match in a row and earned praise from Mourinho, but Bailly will undoubtedly make his way back into the side once he’s completely fit.