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According to Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho, Paul Pogba looks set to be out of action for “a few weeks” after he was forced off injured during Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Basel in the UEFA Champions League.
Per Adam Bostock for United’s official website, the Special One told MUTV:
“I don’t know. I just know from experience it’s a muscular injury. In my experience, muscular injury stops you from playing for a few weeks, I think.
“It looks for me too [like a hamstring injury] but I haven’t spoken yet to the medical department.
“Squads are for this, squads are for injuries, squads are for suspensions. We don’t cry with injuries. So if no Paul for Sunday, we have [Ander] Herrera, we have [Michael] Carrick, we have [Marouane] Fellaini and we have [Nemanja] Matic.”
Pogba was handed the captain’s armband for the match but was forced to relinquish it early on as he was withdrawn less than a quarter of the way through the game, per United’s official Twitter feed:
Manchester United @ManUtd
19′ – An enforced early change for #MUFC as @Fellaini replaces the injured @PaulPogba. Get well soon, Paul! #UCL
ESPN FC’s Rob Dawson noted Pogba needed crutches after the match:
Rob Dawson @RobDawsonESPN
Jose Mourinho said he doesn’t know severity of Pogba’s hamstring injury but he’s just been in the tunnel on crutches. Doesn’t look good.
His replacement, Marouane Fellaini, opened the scoring for the Red Devils little more than 15 minutes after his introduction and produced a strong performance to help the side get their Champions League campaign off to a winning start.
Football writer Liam Canning praised the Belgian for his contribution but noted the need for United to have Pogba available again:
Liam Canning @LiamPaulCanning
Hopefully Pogba’s injury isn’t too serious, Manchester United will need him back as soon as possible. Fellaini was superb – credit to him.
The Red Devils have five more games in September. They host Everton at Old Trafford on Sunday before taking on Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup, followed by away trips to Southampton and CSKA Moscow, and finally a home match with Crystal Palace.
United should be targeting wins in those games even if Pogba isn’t available, but they’ll undoubtedly miss his creativity and drive from midfield.
In his absence, the likes of Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and perhaps even Ander Herrera will need to compensate.