Jose Mourinho predicts when Zlatan Ibrahimovic will return to Man United side

The Manchester United manager opens up about Zlatan Ibrahimovic's return from injury

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic Photo: Hublot

Jose Mourinho has backed Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic to return from injury before the end of the year.

The Red Devils re-signed Ibrahimovic in the summer transfer window following the 35-year-old’s prolific first season at Old Trafford.

The retired Sweden international scored 28 times in all competitions in the 2016-17 campaign to help Manchester United win two trophies.

Ibrahimovic scored twice in a 3-2 victory over Southampton in the League Cup final at Wembley, including a last-minute winner.

The former Barcelona and Juventus striker suffered a serious knee problem during their Europa League quarter-final to cut his season short.

Manchester United won the Europa League crown thanks to a 2-0 win against Dutch giants Ajax in the absence of Ibrahimovic.

The 20-time English champions signed Romelu Lukaku in a £75m deal in the summer and the Belgian striker scored 10 times in his opening nine games.

However, the former Chelsea star has failed to score in his last six games in all competitions.

Mourinho provided Manchester United fans with an encouraging update on Ibrahimovic’s rehabilitation from his knee problem.

“He is a lion, he is a fighter,” Mourinho is quoted as saying by Sky Sports. “I think that is a good description of him, he has the anger all the time and that’s the reason why he’s almost coming back.

“As we expect, he’s reduced the timing of his recovering and, as we were saying a few weeks ago, he will be back in 2017, which is a magnificent recovery.”

Manchester United are in second place in the Premier League table and are eight points behind current leaders Manchester City.

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