Manchester United boosted by return of injured players

May 4, 2017
Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Paul Pogba and Eric Bailly could all feature for Manchester United against Celta Vigo for the crunch first leg Europa League semi-final on Thursday night.

Manchester United trio Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Paul Pogba are available for their Europa League semi-final first leg at Celta Vigo, manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed.

Sky Sports reported earlier on Wednesday that Jones, Smalling and Pogba had all trained at Carrington ahead of the tie, which begins at the Stadium de Balaidos in Galicia on Thursday.

Mourinho also confirmed that centre-back Eric Bailly, who limped off in the draw with Swansea at the weekend, has not suffered a sustaining problem and is also in contention.

The United boss said: “Smalling, Jones and Pogba are back and, in relation to the Europa League, it’s very important.

“They came on time. We have two important matches in one week against Celta. It’s important to have everybody back.

“In relation to the Premier League, I think it’s too late because in the past month of April we played nine matches, seven in the Premier League, and we had too many problems, too many players absent.

“Because of that we had players who had to play 750 or 800 minutes of football and we paid the price. We played against fresh teams.

“At the moment the perspective is different because the Europa League becomes even more important for us, and the players coming back give us more options.

“Bailly is ready to play. He has this kind of personality that he fights against every problem unless it’s impossible.”

Jones injured his foot in a training ground challenge with fellow centre-back Smalling ahead of England’s 1-0 friendly defeat to Germany in March, and Smalling was subsequently forced off in that game with a knee problem.

Pogba was also spotted at United’s training ground as he battles back from a hamstring injury to offer his manager a welcome boost ahead of their latest European adventure.