Jose Mourinho calms Jesse Lingard injury fears after Manchester United beat Middlesbrough

George Flood
International Business Times

Jose Mourinho has calmed fears over an injury sustained by Jesse Lingard during Manchester United's entertaining clash with Middlesbrough on Sunday (19 March).

The academy graduate played a key role in a 3-1 victory on Teeside that saw the Red Devils claim fifth place in the Premier League for the first time since September, linking up well with Marcus Rashford and demonstrating considerable pace before notching his side's second goal with an unstoppable swerving strike from 25 yards out.

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Lingard's afternoon was cut short when the 24-year-old, who unleashed a bizarre Drake-inspired flute celebration after that cracking goal at the Riverside, hobbled off in the 80th minute to be replaced by Anthony Martial.

The prospect of another selection blow would have been difficult for United supporters to stomach. Paul Pogba, Daley Blind, Wayne Rooney, Ander Herrera and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are all currently sidelined as injuries and suspensions continue to bite amid a hectic fixture list that is only set to get worse in April with a two-legged Europa League quarter-final tie against Anderlecht and seven top-flight fixtures, including a rearranged Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium that is now set to take place on a Thursday night.

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However, Mourinho does not believe this latest issue to be anything that would require Lingard to withdraw from Gareth Southgate's youthful England squad for matches against Germany and Lithuania.

"I think it's maybe something in his ankle but nothing serious," he was quoted as saying after the game.

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While Lingard is believed to have joined-up with England as planned, uncapped winger Michail Antonio was unable to report for duty at St George's Park ahead of the midweek trip to Dortmund after suffering a hamstring injury during West Ham United's 3-2 home defeat by resurgent Leicester City.

Tottenham Hotspur right-back Kyle Walker did made the journey to Staffordshire following public confirmation that he was "OK" after appearing to sustain a thumb problem during the latter stages of a 2-1 win over Southampton. He had initially been considered doubtful to feature in that game after twisting his ankle in an accident that took place at his home on Monday.

"My decision was not for that [injury]," Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino said. "We saw when he was out he had a problem with his thumb. But I don't believe it's a big thing."

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