Ibrahimovic out for a month with 'massive problem'

Manchester United will be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic for a month due to a knee injury.

Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was not included in Mourinho's squad for Saturday's goalless draw with Southampton, although it has since transpired that the former Sweden international is set for a lengthy injury lay-off.   -  Getty Images

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been ruled out for a month with a knee injury described as a "massive problem" by Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.

Ibrahimovic was not included in Mourinho's squad for Saturday's goalless draw with Southampton, although it has since transpired that the former Sweden international is set for a lengthy injury lay-off.

United lost Romelu Lukaku to a head injury eight minutes into the match and Mourinho was quizzed afterwards as to whether Ibrahimovic was a viable replacement should the Belgian face his own spell on the sidelines.

READ: Slim title hopes fading fast for Mourinho

But Mourinho, who stated Lukaku was likely to miss two matches, revealed Ibrahimovic would be missing for a month, restricting his options at the forefront of his attack to just Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.

"The same [knee as before]," Mourinho is quoted as telling the BBC. "A massive problem. He is a 36-year-old with a bad knee."

United could enter 2018 some 17 points adrift of runaway leader Manchester City if its fierce rival can extend its record-breaking winning run to 19 matches against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Mourinho's men face Everton on New Year's Day before taking on Derby County in the FA Cup on Friday.

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