Jose Mourinho has been left red faced after it emerged that Chris Smalling will be absent for the next four weeks, so serious is the injury to his toe.
The Manchester United manager publicly questioned Smalling’s commitment to the side after the defender made himself unavailable for last Sunday’s match against Swansea.
The Portuguese said: ‘[Smalling] doesn’t feel that he can play 100 per cent without pain’.
It’s now been revealed that Smalling has broken his toe in two places and may not play again before Christmas.
Manchester United fixtures
Sat 19 Nov: Man Utd v Arsenal
Thu 20 Nov: Man Utd v Feyenoord (Europa)
Sun 27 Nov: Man Utd v West Ham
Wed 30 Nov: Man Utd v West Ham (EFL Cup)
Sun 4 Dec: Everton v Man Utd
Some reports suggest Mourinho demanded Smalling have pain killing injections prior to featuring in Manchester United’s 4-0 defeat to Chelsea last month. The England international has not played since.
The news is a major blow for Manchester United who are already without centre-back Eric Bailly. However Phil Jones returned to action in the game against Swansea.