Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho expects Marouane Fellaini to be ruled out for a "few weeks", but hopes to have Eric Bailly and Zlatan Ibrahimovic back in time for their clash against Sevilla.
Fellaini was brought on a second-half substitute with his side trailing by two goals to Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday (31 January) but was taken off just eight minutes later. Mourinho insisted post-match the change was enforced, with the Belgium international suffering a knee problem – an injury that has seen him miss 17 games over two periods on the sidelines already this season.
Reports on Thursday suggested the former Everton midfielder, who has entered the final five months of his contract at Old Trafford, may have to undergo surgery. However, Mourinho feels it is too soon to make that decision.
"I don't have news because I don't want to give you news based on the initial approach," Mourinho told a press conference ahead of Saturday's meeting with Huddersfield Town, the club's official website reports. "But I don't think the news is very good. He has a problem in his knee – it's the same knee [as previous injuries] but not the same location. It was internal, now it's external, so let's wait probably a couple more days, but of course he is out of the game tomorrow.
"It's not an ACL [anterior cruciate ligament], it's not a complete rupture of any structure of the knee, so we are not going as far as that. But we need him and the Champions League is arriving, we have lots of tough matches to play. Probably we are going to lose him for a few weeks, but I cannot say if it's two, three, four or five [weeks]. I cannot say at this moment."
Bailly has not played since mid-November after he was forced to undergo ankle surgery. A return in February was pencilled in late last year and Mourinho has now confirmed the former Villarreal defender is on course to return in time for the club's Champions League last 16 clash against Sevilla, with the first leg taking place on 21 February.
Ibrahimovic, who has this week been linked with a move to MLS side LA Galaxy, should also be back for the first leg of that European tie.