Paul Pogba is close to returning to the first-team after a nine-week absence with a hamstring injury but Manchester United's game against Newcastle United on Saturday (18 November) is likely to come too soon for the Frenchman.

The Red Devils midfielder has missed 12 games across all competitions for United after sustaining a severe hamstring injury during their win over Basel in the Champions League on 12 September. He has returned to the club's Carrington training base after spending time recuperating in the United States but is yet to join up with the first-team squad.

Pogba trained with United's Under-23 players during the ongoing international break and Jose Mourinho will be delighted to welcome him back to the senior set-up as his team have struggled without their midfield talisman. The Portuguese manager has been in the dark about a potential return date for the French midfielder, but revealed that he will come back sooner rather than later as United head into one of the busiest periods of the campaign.

According to the Telegraph, Pogba has resumed training and is close to making a first-team return but the medical staff are keen to tread with caution and avoid risking setback. Therefore, it has been advised that he be left out of the squad to face Newcastle on Saturday.

The Red Devils have a number of key games coming up over the next few weeks with the most important being the Manchester derby against Pep Guardiola's Premier League leaders. Apart from the derby clash they also face Arsenal at the Emirates the week before. Mourinho will be hoping to have his key players fully fit for the big games.

Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba has returned to training after spending nine weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury Getty

Pogba is not the only player on the mend, as the United boss is expecting to welcome Michael Carrick and Marcos Rojo in the comning weeks, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic has also begun training with the ball. The duo are closer to making a comeback than the Swede, but all three could be available by the time the festive period games begin in December.

Meanwhile, Mourinho does have an injury concern going into the match against Magpies on Saturday after Phil Jones picked up a thigh injury during England's draw against Germany on Friday (10 November). The centre-back, who is a key player for the Portuguese manager, was substituted in the first-half and was subsequently ruled out of their game against Brazil on Tuesday and is now back at Carrington for further treatment.