Jose Mourinho has told Zlatan Ibrahimovic he does not have to rush back into action for Manchester United, warning the striker to not do anything "crazy" in his bid to return to the first-team.
Ibrahimovic, 35, suffered a season-ending knee injury in United's Europa League quarter-final clash against Anderlecht last April that looked like it would ended his time at Old Trafford.
United announced in August however the former Sweden international had signed a new one-year deal having continued his rehabilitation with the club over the summer. During his time on the sidelines, Ibrahimovic has been making huge strides in his bid to recover from the anterior cruciate ligament injury and has kept fans updated with a series of videos of his workouts in the gym – the most recent one carrying the caption: "Tell Jose I'm coming."
And while Mourinho is delighted to see the man who contributed 28 goals last season making such rapid progress, he has warned the veteran striker not to take any unnecessary risks.
"I think we need him. We wait for him, but with patience, he has to be patient," Mourinho said following United's 3-0 win over Basel in Tuesday's Champions League opener.
"He doesn't have to be emotional and he doesn't have to try to make crazy things to improve quicker in his mind. Because I know that his desire is to improve quicker. So [be] calm, [take things] step by step. We want him, but we want him in his best condition."
Ibrahimovic underwent surgery in May but is expected to return to action earlier than expected. Mourinho previously stated that he did not think there would be any chance of Ibrahimovic featuring in the Champions League group stage but the striker was included on United's squad list submitted to Uefa on 1 September.
United have not yet put a specific time frame on his return to action.