Manchester United have been handed an injury boost as Eric Bailly is likely to return to action for their Boxing Day clash against Sunderland. The Red Devils' summer signing made his second start since returning from a knee ligament damage he picked up during his side's defeat to Chelsea in October.
The Ivory Coast international played the full 90 minutes in United's 2-0 win over Zorya Luhansk in the Europa League tie in Ukraine. He made his first start in the Premier League when Jose Mourinho deployed him in the right-back position against Crystal Palace as Antonio Valencia was serving a one-match suspension.
Bailly was replaced early in the second half after picking up a knee injury and was replaced by Matteo Darmian at Selhurst Park. Mourinho said he was unsure if the defender would be fit to face West Bromwich Albion or the Boxing Day clash.
According to ESPN, the United summer signing's injury is not serious and has set his sights on making himself available for selection for the Sunderland fixture on 26 December. He is set to miss the weekend trip to the Hawthorns.
The former Villarreal man injured his right knee in October, which kept him on the sidelines for close to two months. The Portuguese tactician has confirmed Bailly has not suffered the injury on the same leg as he injured his left knee against Palace.
Bailly is expected to return for selection along with Henrikh Mkhitaryan when David Moyes' side visit Old Trafford. The Armenian international, who scored the winner in United's 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur, picked up an injury in the same match following Danny Rose's tackle.
Mourinho was not happy with the England international's tackle on the former Borussia Dortmund star. The Red Devils coach earlier admitted that he was expecting Mkhitaryan to return against Sunderland.
"It looks like the next match [at Crystal Palace] is a 'no', but it looks like it is nothing that is really dangerous or that needs surgery. So hopefully we will probably have Micki [Mkhitaryan] on Boxing Day [against Sunderland at Old Trafford]," Mourinho explained after United's win over Tottenham.