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Zlatan Ibrahimovic is back ahead of Benfica

The Swede suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in a Europa League tie against Anderlecht in April forcing a premature end to his debut season at O.T.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is back ahead of Benfica

The Swede suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in a Europa League tie against Anderlecht in April forcing a premature end to his debut season at O.T.

18 October 2017 Wednesday 21:31
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is back ahead of Benfica

 Zlatan Ibrahimovic has rejoined his Manchester United team-mates as he continues recovering from a long-term knee injury.

The Swede suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in a Europa League tie against Anderlecht in April forcing a premature end to his debut season at Old Trafford.

It has been reported by The Sun that Ibrahimovic has been in training at the club's Carrington facilities amongst the first team for the past seven days as the coaching staff look to reintroduce the striker to the senior squad.

He has reportedly spent 20 to 25 minutes in each session with the senior squad, and is said to be operating at 'around 90 per cent.'

The 36-year-old scored 17 goals in 28 Premier League appearances helping United to a fifth-placed finish in the top-flight as well as five goals in their Europa League triumph as United sealed a Champions League spot in his absence.

But his United career looked to be all-but over after that fatal night in Manchester, as his one-year deal with Jose Mourinho's side was originally left un-renewed. 

But a u-turn was made by Mourinho which saw the former Barcelona and Paris Sain-Germain striker make a return to the former Premier League champions, and has since been in training as he eyes a recovery to first-team football.

Despite the backing and confidence Ibrahimovic has been given by the club and its supporters, Sportsmail understands the striker is unlikely to make his return until the new year. 

While his recovery is moving swiftly, Ibrahimovic will be forced to watch his team-mates Champions League trip to Benfica on Wednesday from the sidelines. 

In his absence, United have hit the ground running this season keeping pace with Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, trailing by two points in the top-flight, as well as maintaining a 100 per cent start to their return to European football.   

But despite Mourinho's success without the Ibrahimovic, Former United striker, and now member of staff, Andy Cole has recently backed the 'legendary' Swedish striker's return to Mourinho's side after joining him in the Carrington gym.

'He'll get games because he's got so much quality. And he's brilliant in the dressing room,' Cole said. 'I love Zlatan. He tells you how it is. He's legendary.' 



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