Jose Mourinho expressed his frustration that international duty has led to injuries for a number of his Manchester United players.
Jesse Lingard could feature for Manchester United against Everton this weekend, but Alexis Sanchez has been ruled out.
England international Lingard has been sidelined for over a month having carried a groin injury since the World Cup, while Sanchez was declared unfit prior to the Champions League defeat to Juventus on Tuesday.
United boss Jose Mourinho could not hide his frustration about issues sustained on international duty limiting his options in recent weeks, with Diogo Dalot and Marouane Fellaini also ruled out of the visit of the Toffees.
“[Lingard’s] almost there. He came from the World Cup with that problem. We thought wrongly the holiday period would bring this to normality and we thought wrongly to start working with the team would improve the situation,” Mourinho told a pre-match news conference.
“Now he’s going back to do the work to try to be 100 per cent and in this moment he’s almost there. Because of the team’s needs, can he help us in the next match? That’s the question we have to answer [on Saturday] or if we wait one more week. He’s almost there.
“In this moment [Sanchez is] struggling because he’s injured. In the Chelsea match his physical condition was not good and then he had to stop and he was not available for Juventus and I believe he is not available again for [Everton].
“So for now [his focus] is to be physically in the big condition. [He] arrived January last season… I don’t think it’s ever easy for a player but this season he had a good start, a good pre-season, started well against Leicester and then he was injured and then he came back and was injured again. I think he needs to be really sharp to play his best game.”
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“We play against Newcastle [United] and go into the national team period in a good situation and after two weeks we lost Dalot in Portugal, Fellaini in Belgium, Alexis in Chile, [Scott] McTominay in Scotland,” he said.
“Some of the national teams were very professional with us and sent the players back and we could start the [recovery] process early. But some of them weren’t and they kept the players and we didn’t even know the nature of the injuries, so when the players arrive here two days before Chelsea we had no idea.”