Jose Mourinho has discussed the availability of five key players ahead of Manchester United’s Europa League match against Zorya Luhansk at Old Trafford on Thursday night.
Speaking to reporters at the pre-match press conference, the manager confirmed Luke Shaw did not train with his team-mates on Wednesday because the left-back was sent home to aid his recovery from illness.
“He’s ill,” Mourinho told reporters, before expanding on Shaw’s current state of fitness. “He has a temperature, a fever, a bad throat and he arrived this morning and immediately the doctor sent him home because one player like this in the middle of the other ones can affect others so he went home.”
Asked whether Henrikh Mkhitaryan will make his first appearance since the Manchester derby on 10 September, Mourinho confirmed the summer signing will not feature against the Ukrainian visitors. However, the boss went on to reveal Anthony Martial is available for selection again after his recent injury.
“He has now recovered from the contusion in his calf and in his ankle,” the boss said. “He has recovered and is ready for tomorrow.”
Later in the press conference at the Aon Training Complex, Mourinho informed reporters that Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic will definitely start on Thursday night in what will be a much stronger team than the one that started the 1-0 defeat to Feyenoord in Rotterdam earlier this month.
It remains to be seen whether Wayne Rooney will be named among the starters or substitutes against Zorya, after the captain sat out Tuesday’s training session with a slight injury.
“Wayne Rooney is selected,” Mourinho said. “I haven’t decided yet if I start with him. He didn’t train yesterday, he did just a little bit of the session on Monday. He had a back problem so today [Wednesday] was the first time that he had a training session with the other players and today is the training session where the intensity and the complexity is obviously reduced because we have a game tomorrow.
“So I was completely convinced of playing him tomorrow from the beginning, but with this situation in the last couple of days I am not sure I’ll do that. Because with the situation that you create for him I think he really can’t afford to have a performance that is not really good.
“I am here to protect him and not to put him in difficult situations. I have to analyse if the best thing for him is to start the game and if he is not totally ready for it. So I am going to discuss that with him and the medical staff and decide if he starts or if he is on the bench.”
Tickets for Thursday’s Europa League match at Old Trafford are on sale to supporters, with all seats for under 16s priced at just £10. To book or find more information, visit www.manutd.com/uel.
Source: Manchester United Official