It seems like Manchester United will be without Paul Pogba longer than initially expected.
Pogba, 24, went off injured less than 20 minutes into United’s 3-0 UEFA Champions League win against Basel at Old Trafford on Tuesday as the French midfielder suffered a hamstring injury.
Speaking after the game Jose Mourinho thought Pogba could be out for a few weeks: “In my experience, muscular injury stops you from playing for a few weeks, I think.”
But multiple reports suggest the central midfielder, who has been a star for United in the opening weeks of the season, could be out until the end of October.
Such has been Pogba’s influence in the early weeks of the season he was handed the captains armband by Mourinho for United’s return to the Champions League in midweek but he hobbled off early on with an untimely injury.
NBC sports reports that he could now miss the Premier League games against Everton, Southampton, Crystal Palace and Liverpool, plus a key Champions League group stage match against CSKA Moscow as well as a League Cup clash with Burton Albion. France will also be without Pogba for their key World Cup qualifiers against Bulgaria and Belarus which they need to win to guarantee qualification to Russia 2018.
Luckily Mourinho has other options in central midfield with Nemanja Matic, Michael Carrick, Maroune Fellaini (who came on for Pogba on Tuesday and put in a Man of the Match display) and Ander Herrera all around to soften the blow.
Still, Pogba has been influential early on this season and an extended period on the sidelines is not what Mourinho or United needed after a strong start to the campaign.