Jose Mourinho is banking his hopes on Wayne Rooney to replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is set to miss the remainder of the season after limping off in the second half against Anderlecht in the second leg of the quarter-final clash in the Europa League. Manchester United progressed into the next round with an extra time winner by Marcus Rashford and will now face Celta Vigo in the semi-finals.
United are in a crisis of sorts at the moment in terms of injuries, with Marcos Rojo also stretchered off the pitch during the Europa League clash with a knee injury. He joins Chris Smalling and Phil Jones in the treatment table, with Eric Bailly the only recognised central defender currently fit in the squad.
Juan Mata is also out injured after undergoing surgery but Rooney is fit after recovering from an ankle injury which kept him on the sidelines. This has given Mourinho the hope that he can come back into the mix and assist the likes of Marcus Rashford with his experience in the absence of the Swedish international.
"He has a good mentality, he is a fighter," Mourinho said, as quoted by ESPN. "He is a strong man. Even if he is not in the best condition, even if he is not in the level of sharpness that you need to play high-level football, we need him. He has the experience and character, so he has to [be ready]. Now we need absolutely everyone."
Mourinho has also urged the likes of Jones and Smalling to step-up their recovery in the absence of Rojo, with Bailly having to manage the bulk of the games due to lack of personnel. United have a tough period coming up, with participation in the semi-finals of the Europa and also the remaining games in the season to try and secure a top four spot.