Football

Mourinho frets over injuries to Ibra, Rojo

Jose Mourinho fears the worst after Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo were forced off with serious-looking injuries as Manchester United reached the Europa League semi-finals yesterday morning (Singapore time).

United were made to sweat by Anderlecht after Henrikh Mkhitaryan's early strike was cancelled out by Sofiane Hanni.

The tie was eventually settled in extra-time by Man of the Match Marcus Rashford as a breathless quarter-final second leg ended 2-1 at Old Trafford, seeing Mourinho's men through 3-2 on aggregate.

But victory came at a cost as increasingly important defender Rojo was stretchered off in the first half, before top scorer Ibrahimovic's knee buckled after landing awkwardly just before extra-time.

Asked about their condition, Mourinho said: "I want to wait, but my feeling is not good for both.

NOT OPTIMISTIC

"I want to wait and try to be optimistic, but I am not."

Rojo has impressed this season in a rearguard already without Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.

Mourinho last week said the England centre backs were out until mid-May, but suggested after the Anderlecht win that they need to be "brave".

"They have injuries, and even with a crazy mentality, they cannot play Sunday (at Burnley in the Premier League)," said Mourinho, who seemed to criticise Smalling's pain threshold earlier in the season.

"But, with a special spirit, you can (come back) sooner than expected. So instead of mid-May, it could be the beginning of May, this kind of acceleration of the process."

He also emphasised the trust he has in match-winner Rashford, whose turn and finish were impressive in such a high-pressure situation.

He said: "In spite of being a young kid, other guys can look at him. We have great examples of fighters, of people with the right mentality." - PA SPORT

EUROPA LEAGUEManchester UnitedZlatan Ibrahimovic