Pogba could be out for the rest of the year

United midfielder could be out for rest of the year like Ibrahimovic and Rojo


Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is facing a long spell on the sidelines due to a hamstring injury, manager Jose Mourinho said yesterday.

Pogba suffered the injury in United's 3-0 Champions League win over Basel earlier this month.

"He's injured, he cannot play tomorrow and it's not an injury that I can have the hope like I have with (Antonio) Valencia or (Phil) Jones," Mourinho said ahead of tonight's Premier League game at home against Crystal Palace.

"I have the hope to see them in training and to have a positive answer."

Mourinho did not put a time scale on Pogba's return but said he was thinking about the 24-year-old France international in the same way as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo, who are expected to miss the rest of the year due to injuries.

"So long-term injuries I don't speak about them," Mourinho said. "Ibra and Pogba and Rojo, these players I don't think about them."

Forward Anthony Martial, though, is likely to be fit for tonight's match despite appearing to pick up a minor injury in midweek.

Martial was outstanding as United won 4-1 away to CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday, scoring a penalty and creating two goals for Romelu Lukaku.

The France forward was unable to complete the game, with Marcus Rashford replacing him in the 72nd minute, but the club have reported that the change was made as a precaution.

"It was a pity he couldn't play for 90 minutes because I was ready to leave him on the pitch for the whole game," said Mourinho.

Mourinho faces a long injury list with Pogba, Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick, Phil Jones and Antonio Valencia all absent from the trip to Russia because of injury.

"I think Carrick has no chance," said Mourinho.

"I think Jones, I have many doubts, and Fellaini, I have a hope but just a hope."

Despite those setbacks, United are second in the Premier League, and have won their last five matches in all competitions, scoring 16 goals in the process, before the visit of bottom club Palace.

Roy Hodgson could hardly have been given a more testing start following his appointment as Palace manager just four games into the new season.

Defeats in his first two games, at home to Southampton and away to Manchester City, meant Palace have set an unwanted Premier League record of becoming the first team to fail to register a single goal or point in their opening six games.

And their hopes of breaking that run took a dip when Christian Benteke, Palace's only available recognised striker, damaged knee ligaments at City and is now expected to be out for at least six weeks.

Hodgson could throw rookie Freddie Ladapo into the Old Trafford cauldron tonight to solve Palace's striker crisis.

Ex-Colchester youth product Ladapo joined Palace from Margate last year, but has yet to feature in a competitive fixture for the first team.

"Freddie Ladapo has been training with the first team for quite a while now," said Hodgson of the 24-year-old.

"He's an unknown quantity, for me certainly, because I haven't had the chance to see him in action at this sort of level.

"He hasn't played a lot of games for managers otherwise as well, so there's not a lot of information in the club as to how he would react.

"But, in the current situation where we find ourselves, where we really don't have the cover or the back-up for Christian Benteke, the fact he's training every day and he's a centre forward puts him very much in the frame." - WIRE SERVICES

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