Jose Mourinho thinks Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be ready to make his Manchester United return before the end of the year, while his fellow striker Marcus Rashford has escaped injury and is fit to face Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
Mourinho has said in the past Ibrahimovic would not be back until the New Year. But the United manager has now revealed the 36-year-old could return to action earlier.
“Zlatan is here, he’s working here, under our control,” he said in a news conference ahead of the trip to the John Smiths Stadium.
“He’s working so, so, so, so hard but he’s not to going be back in the next week or couple of weeks, let him take his time and be back when everyone feels it is the right moment.
“Do I think he will be back in 2017? Yes I do. But it is just a feeling.”
Mourinho will have Marcus Rashford available to face Huddersfield after the 19-year-old limped off against Benfica with a knee injury.
However, Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini, Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo and Michael Carrick are set to miss out.
Mourinho added: “We have the same players as we had for the Benfica match.
“Everybody knows every manager wants to have all the players available it’s just then a question of the way you position yourself in relation to that, the best way you think is to do it.
“For some, it is better to remember the team is not in its full strength.
“The way we try to do it is always to speak about opportunities for others.
“It doesn’t mean I don’t miss the players, I would like them to be here for us. And yes in answer to your question, nobody is back from injury but what we have is good.”