Man Utd boost as Mata eyes return before season finale

With Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the sidelines, Jose Mourinho could see his ranks bolstered as the Spaniard eyes a comeback before the end of the campaign

Juan Mata could return from injury in time to help Manchester United with their late-season charge in the Premier League and Europa League.

Mata underwent groin surgery this month and was initially expected to remain sidelined for the remainder of the campaign.

Mourinho unsure of Pogba fitness

A 2-0 win at Burnley on Sunday moved United to within a point of the top four, with a Manchester derby against City to come this Thursday, while Jose Mourinho has placed focus upon the Europa League after reaching the semi-finals, where Celta Vigo await.

Paul Pogba limped off in the win at Turf Moor, causing further headaches for Mourinho, who has seven first-teamers out of action, but Mata believes he will be back in action soon.

"As you can imagine, this month has been a bit too long for me due to my injury," Mata wrote on his weekly blog.

"I had never been in a situation like this before (I've been very lucky), but the truth is I'm feeling much better now and I hope to be back with the team soon, to try to help in the last spell of the season.

"I hope so, because that's all I want: being always available to help and to contribute as much as I can, both on and off the pitch.

"A million thanks for all your messages wishing me a speedy recovery, I'm getting closer!"

Ibra: Giving up is not an option

Mata's return would be a welcome boost to Mourinho, having lost Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the season with a knee injury, while Marcos Rojo is expected to be missing with a similar issue.

The Spain international added: "By defeating Anderlecht and Burnley we have made it through the semis in Europe and have approached the top four in the Premier League, but we know there's still a crucial way to go.

"The last few days have been very good in terms of results but those good feelings have been tarnished by Marcos and Zlatan's injuries.

"These situations just happen in football, that's for sure, although they're never easy to take.

"Now it's time to be patient and strong to face the recovery period and I'm sure both of them will do their best. The rest of the team will support them."

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