The Englishman, much to Mourinho’s frustration, was thrown into the starting XI for England’s friendly with Germany earlier this month and suffered a recurrence of the thigh problem that forced him off during the defeat to Huddersfield Town.
Gareth Southgate noted after the game that the injury wasn’t too serious but Jones failed to make the bench for Man United’s 4-1 win over Newcastle United last weekend.
And Mourinho has confirmed in a press conference ahead of the Basel clash that the defender would miss United’s next two games.
— utdreport (@utdreport) November 21, 2017
JM on Smalling: I hope he doesn't get into the England team… everybody gets injured
— James Robson (@jamesrobsonES) November 21, 2017
The only way to explain Southgate’s decision to field a bandaged-up Jones – who played through pain during the clash with Chelsea – against Germany is to conclude that he actually hasn’t watched the 25-year-old for the last, say, five years. Anybody vaguely interested in football would have been able to tell you that this was a recipe for disaster.
Supporters can take solace in the fact that the next international break doesn’t come around until March.
Mourinho also confirmed during the presser that Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who made his long-awaited return to action over the weekend, would start on the bench in Switzerland.
Eric Bailly and Michael Carrick are both still recovering from respective injuries, while Antonio Valencia, Juan Mata and Ashley Young have all been handed rests in preparation for the clash with Brighton.