Marcos Rojo
Rojo returned to training last month and is now only two weeks away from a return. Getty


  • Jose Mourinho previously suggested Rojo would not be back until December at earliest.
  • The Argentina international could now be back within two weeks.
  • Eric Bailly remains on injured list with Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick.

Manchester United will remain without Eric Bailly for their Champions League clash with Benfica on Wednesday (18 October) but will have Marcos Rojo available again within two weeks.

Bailly was among a host of Premier League players to return to their respective clubs after the international break carrying a knock, missing Saturday's goalless draw against Liverpool as a result. The Ivory Coast international had been a first-team fixture alongside Phil Jones this season with Chris Smalling stepping in at Anfield.

United have not revealed the extent or nature of Bailly's injury, but it is enough to ensure he will have no role to play at the Estadio da Luz on Wednesday.

Rojo meanwhile has not played for the club since suffering a season-ending cruciate knee ligament injury in April. During the summer, Mourinho predicted December would be the earliest he would have the defender back again but the Argentina international caused a stir when he was pictured among United's travelling party leaving Manchester for Lisbon on Monday.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday's match, Mourinho clarified Rojo had only made the trip so he could continue training with his teammates and will have no role to play against the great rivals of his former club Sporting CP.

But the Argentine is still on course for a full recovery that is remarkably ahead of schedule, with Mourinho suggesting he could return to the first-team before the month is out.

"Rojo is not coming to play but he is coming with the team to train today with the group. Tomorrow, individually, but he's coming [back]," Mourinho told United's official website. "I would say, probably in two weeks, Marcos is ready to play. There is no Bailly - he was injured in the national team."

Mourinho was giving little else away when pushed on his selection plans but did admit it won't be difficult to figure out what team he will select given his current injury woes. Michael Carrick, Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini remain unavailable due to injuries meaning the United boss has little alternative to turn to the midfield pairing of Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera once again.

With Bailly still available, he could also continue with the partnership of Jones and Smalling at centre-half although Victor Lindelof will be hoping to be given the nod against his former side, having started and completed each of United's two Champions League group matches so far this season.

"I will not tell you the team," Mourinho added. "Firstly, because the players don't know yet but, secondly, we have so many injuries, I think that should be something that you can view with almost a guarantee of success because our options are so few that it is easy for you to guess the XI."