Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has “no idea” when Paul Pogba will be available to play again as he recovers from a hamstring injury.
Mourinho said: “I have no idea. Honestly, I have no idea. I have no idea. I’m not in control of his recovery process. He’s not training with me. He’s on individual work and not in my group.”
Pogba has not featured for the Red Devils since suffering the injury against FC Basel in the UEFA Champions League on September 12 and spent much of October recuperating in Miami before returning to Manchester earlier in October.
United lack some drive in the centre without Pogba, and unlocking defences is trickier without his ingenuity in the final third.
The Red Devils have largely coped well despite his absence—a 0-0 draw with Liverpool and the shock 2-1 defeat to Huddersfield Town being the only points dropped in the 10 matches he has been sidelined for—but they are not playing with the same verve as they did earlier in the season, and it may be difficult for them to rediscover it without him in the side.
Given Mourinho’s latest update, it seems unlikely Pogba will be able to feature against either Benfica on Tuesday or at Stamford Bridge when United travel to face Chelsea on Sunday.
Neither will Marcos Rojo, but he could be set to return from his cruciate ligament injury against Newcastle United after the international break.
Mourinho compared the Argentinian’s situation with Pogba’s: “Even under certain conditions, for example Marcos Rojo is working with me, with certain conditions, but he’s working with me.
But I would expect Marcos Rojo to be ready to play after the international break. I can predict that because he’s training with me.”
Rojo’s return will be useful, giving Mourinho another option at the back, but he won’t have a dramatic impact on the rest of the side like Pogba will.
United are five points behind first-place Manchester City and could well be further back after facing Chelsea, so if they are to get their title bid back on track, they need Pogba fit and firing as soon as possible.