Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s injury is not serious as first thought and the midfielder should be back in a week or so, according to Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s goal proved enough for Manchester United to claim a home win over Tottenham, but the Armenian’s injury, suffered after a tackle from Danny Rose, was a blow.
It took the edge off Sunday’s much-needed victory for the Old Trafford side.
However, his manager confirmed that the midfielder won’t be out for long.
“We don’t think it’s a serious injury,” Mourinho told the BBC.
It would be a cruel blow for Mkhitaryan if the ankle injury he suffered toward the end of Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Tottenham halts his progress at Manchester United.
In September, Mkhitaryan paid a heavy price for failing to play to instructions during United’s 2-1 defeat at home…
Mkhitaryan’s inability to press City’s full-backs that day led to both goals by the visitors, and Mourinho’s fury resulted in the summer signing from Borussia Dortmund being forced to watch from the sideline for what seemed an eternity until he returned to the fold in November with a 30-minute substitute appearance against Fenerbahce in Istanbul.
But since Mkhitaryan was handed his return to the starting XI against Feyenoord three weeks ago, there has been no looking back for the midfielder, who followed up his first goal for United against Zorya Luhansk in midweek with his first in the Premier League – a stunner against Tottenham.
The 27-year-old’s form asks whether Mourinho was too tough on him during his lengthy spell out of the team, but perhaps the United manager called it correctly.
He has spoken of needing to work on Mkhitaryan’s physical attributes as well as his tactical strengths, and it is fair to say that neither were particularly impressive during his humbling 45 minutes against City in September.
Whatever Mourinho’s motivation, Mkhitaryan’s recent performances – he was excellent once again against Spurs – are justifying the treatment he received from his manager.
Mkhitaryan looks hungry and determined, and he is becoming a driving force in games for United.
He has added adventure and invention in the final third, offering more mobility than Juan Mata and quicker feet than Wayne Rooney.
Danny Rose’s late challenge on Mkhitaryan did not look good, however, and United and Mourinho will now be hoping he recovers swiftly.