11 Nov Smalling out for United
Manchester United defender Chris Smalling is facing at least a month on the sidelines with an injury that Jose Mourinho appeared to question, according to a report.
The centre-back and fellow England defender Luke Shaw looked to be the subject of the United manager’s barbed comments following Sunday’s 3-1 win at Swansea.
Mourinho said there are those who are brave and “ones for whom a little pain can make a difference”, saying you have to “go to the limit” to compete.
The questioning of the players’ pain threshold would suggest the duo were only suffering minor issues, but both were omitted from England’s squad and the Daily Mail reports Smalling may not be play again before Christmas.
The defender is said to have broken a toe so badly in two places that he will be absent for at least the next four weeks.
Mourinho is already without centre-back Eric Bailly until Christmas with a knee injury, while right-back Antonio Valenica has undergone surgery on a fractured arm.
Press Association Sport understands Shaw has been suffering with discomfort in the leg that was so horrifically fractured in two places back in September 2015.
The issues flared up in the build-up to the Swansea match and proved problematic during last week’s 2-1 Europa League defeat at Fenerbahce, but the left-back is said to be in contention for United’s return to Premier League action against Arsenal.