Zlatan Ibrahimovic's gym training partner and former Manchester United forward Andy Cole as revealed that the Swedish striker will only return from injury either in December or January.

The Red Devils forward has been making considerable progress in his recovery from a severe knee injury he sustained at the end of last season during United's Europa League clash against Celta Vigo.

Initial diagnosis after the surgery ruled Ibrahimovic out until the New Year, but he has been training hard since with the hope of returning ahead of schedule. The 36-year-old's doctor and Jose Mourinho have called for patience but he is determined to return to action at the earliest.

A recent report suggested that he has joined the first-team for training sessions suggesting a much earlier than expected return. He is said to be targeting a return for United's clash against Arsenal on 2 December, but Cole revealed that the striker will come back in December or January after a conversation with Ibrahimovic during their time at the gym in Carrington.

However, the former United striker remains impressed with the former Sweden international owing to the progress made after such a severe injury. And believes United will benefit when their last season's top scorer returns to action.

"He is doing very good. I had a chat with Zlatan when he was in the gym the other day. I think he is looking forward to coming back, most probably in December or January time. I think he will definitely bring something to the football team, as we already know. After last season, he was fantastic. It will be nice to see him back when he returns," Cole told United's official site.

"Yeah, December or January time, of course, it is not bad! But like he keeps saying, he is not human. I love his banter and I think his enthusiasm for the game of football, and what he is around the complex, speaks volumes about him," he added.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic's will return to action in December or January as recovery process continues Getty