Friday 28 July 2017

Manchester United news: Eric Bailly suffers new knee injury as Jose Mourinho says he doesn't know how bad it is

Bailly limped out of his first Premier League start for two months but the injury was not the same as the one that ruled him out for two months in October

Eric Bailly (left)
Eric Bailly (left)

Jack de Menezes

Manchester United face a nervous wait over the knee injury that Eric Bailly suffered against Crystal Palace on Wednesday night, with the centre-back limping off before the hour mark on his first Premier League start for nearly two months.

Bailly suffered a knee ligament injury in the defeat by Chelsea on 23 October, but dismissed fears that he would miss up to three months by returning well ahead of schedule to start the Europa League victory over Zorya Ludansk last week.

That prompted Jose Mourinho to restore the Ivory Coast international to his starting line-up for Wednesday’s 2-1 victory over Palace, but he went to ground during the first half in clear discomfort, and a second trip to the turf shortly after the break ended his day as he was replaced in the 52nd minute.

Mourinho confirmed after the match that the injury was a new one, and that it was his other knee causing the issue – not the right knee he injured back in October.

“We don't know [yet]. It is not the same knee, it is the other one,” Mourinho told BT Sport. “It is the left knee. So he is not coming back to a previous injury.

“Of course he has a problem with another dimension but he showed amazing character to try and try, and try until his limit.”

Mourinho added on MUTV: “He could resist for so long. I would say for about 75 minutes he could resist. He is a special guy and his pain level is really high.”

The loss of Bailly for a second time this season would be a blow to Mourinho’s plans, although in his place both Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo have shown good form that included a clean sheet against Tottenham last weekend.

Bailly partnered Daley Blind at centre-back on Wednesday with Jones shifted out to right-back as Antonio Valencia was suspended for the trip to Selhurst Park, but if the injury rules Bailly out for any length of time, the England defender is likely to revert back to a central role with Valencia returning to the flank.

That would leave Mourinho with a choice between Rojo and Blind, with the latter currently reverting between a place in the first team and a substitute role. Chris Smalling remains injured with the broken toe he suffered in October, and a return has not been pencilled in for the England international.

Independent News Service

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