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Published: 00:13 | 22/4/17

United 'in trouble' after Zlatan and Rojo injuries


Jose Mourinho says Manchester United "are in trouble" following the season-ending knee injuries that Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic suffered during Thursday's Europa League quarter-final second-leg win over Anderlecht.

Rojo was stretchered off before half-time at Old Trafford after being hurt in a challenge with Alexandru Chipciu, while Ibrahimovic was forced off just before the full-time whistle when his right knee buckled after landing awkwardly.

Scans on Friday confirmed that Argentina defender Rojo, 27, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament that will require reconstructive surgery and will keep him out until September.

Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have not featured since getting injured on international duty last month, so Rojo's injury leaves Eric Bailly as United's only fit centre-half.

"We are in trouble," United manager Mourinho admitted. 

"We are in trouble. In this moment, Eric Bailly played six matches in a row, and we lost Marcos Rojo, we don't have Jones or Smalling, we are in trouble and now we lose Zlatan too."

Zlatan, 35, suffered anterior and posterior cruciate ligament damage after hyper-extending his knee as he hit the ground, and could be sidelined for up to 12 months.

The Swede, United's leading scorer this season with 28 goals, is out of contract at the end of the season but had been talking to the club about a 12-month extension to his current deal.

"But in attack, we have options and [Wayne] Rooney is coming, and let's see if Juan Mata can also return before the end of the season, let's see what happens," Mourinho continued.

United are scheduled to play Burnley at Turf Moor in the Premier League on Sunday before travelling to the Etihad Stadium for the Manchester derby on Thursday, and the Portuguese hopes club captain Rooney will shine in Ibrahimovic's absence.

Rooney has started just one league match for United in 2017, but returned to the bench for Thursday's Europa League game after four matches out with an ankle injury.

"He has a good mentality, he is a fighter," Mourinho said.

 "He is a strong man, even if he is not in the best condition, even if he is not in the level of sharpness that you need to play high-level football, but he has the experience and character, so he has to."

Munster will face last year's winners Saracens in the European Champions Cup semi-final at the Aviva Stadium  on April 22 exclusively live on BT Sport, part of the eir Sport pack.


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