Manchester United’s Premier League game at home to Newcastle United on Saturday night is likely to come too soon for Paul Pogba with the club keen to avoid taking any unnecessary risks with the midfielder’s fitness as he moves closer to a return.
Pogba has been sidelined for the past nine weeks, missing 12 United games in the process, after suffering a hamstring tear to his left hamstring in the 3-0 Champions League win over Basel at Old Trafford on Sept. 12.
The France midfielder returned to United’s Carrington training base last month to step up his rehabilitation after spending weeks in Miami recuperating.
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He spent some time last week training with United’s reserve team and has been running regularly, but while manager Jose Mourinho is desperate to have his midfield talisman back as soon as possible, the club want to ensure there is no danger of compromising his fitness by playing him too soon.
Pogba watched France’s 2-0 victory over Wales in Paris on Friday and told his international team-mates, whom he had embraced warmly, that he would be “back soon” but Newcastle may be too early. He also attended the MTV European Music Awards in London on Sunday night with his brothers Florentin and Mathias.
United have fallen eight points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City during Pogba’s absence, which has had a particularly damaging effect on the form of playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan and striker Romelu Lukaku.
Fellow midfielder Michael Carrick and defender Marcos Rojo are also nearing returns but Phil Jones is a doubt for Newcastle after the centre-half was substituted in the first half of England’s 0-0 draw against Germany on Friday with a thigh injury. Jones was subsequently withdrawn from Gareth Southgate’s squad for Tuesday’s friendly against Brazil and returned to United for treatment.