Jesse Lingard claps the fans at the end of United's match at Brighton

Team news: Could Lingard face Everton?

Friday 26 October 2018 10:00

Jose Mourinho has said he will decide on Saturday if Jesse Lingard will be fit enough for Sunday’s Premier League game against Everton. Scott McTominay could also return, but Alexis Sanchez remains sidelined.

Lingard has missed the last five matches with a muscle injury. Our no.14 tweeted last week to tell fans that his injury will “take time” to heal but he will be “back on the pitch soon”.

When asked in his pre-match press conference if Jesse’s absence has been longer than first anticipated, the boss replied: “Yes, he came from the World Cup [with England] with that problem. He thought wrongly that the holiday period would bring things to normality. Then he thought wrongly that keep working or start working with the team would improve the situation and then he felt in an impossible situation to play football.

“So now he's going back and doing the work to try to be 100 per cent [fit] and, in this moment, he's almost there, because of the team’s needs.

“Can he help us in the next match [against Everton]? That's the question we have to answer tomorrow [Saturday] or if we wait one more week and give one more week of stability to the work, so he can be back next week. So, he's almost there.”

Lingard hasn't played for the Reds since the Carabao Cup tie against Derby County on 25 September.

In an exclusive interview with MUTV, the manager added: "With the effort of the players, the medical department and the fitness people, over the weekend we can recover one or two of them [our injured players] to at least be on the bench and to give us more options.

"Jesse is one of those that is possible.”

Mourinho also told reporters at his press conference that McTominay, who suffered an injury when he was away with Scotland earlier this month, could be back in contention for the Toffees clash. Meanwhile, the manager must wait to see how other players, such as Marouane Fellaini and Diogo Dalot, recover from the problems they also picked up on international duty.

“We played against Newcastle and went to the national team period in a good situation and then, after two weeks, we lost Dalot in Portugal, Fellaini in Belgium, Alexis with Chile and McTominay with Scotland,” the boss explained.

“With some of them, the national teams were very professional with us and sent the players back so we could start the process early, but some of them weren't and kept the players so we didn't even know the dimension and the nature of the injuries.

"So when the players arrived here two days before [the] Chelsea [game], we had no idea of what was going on, but we have to deal with this and now we’re trying to resolve problems a little bit step-by-step. I think if Jesse can be available, it gives us some help. I think McTominay is in normal condition and we have to wait for other players.

“At the moment, Alexis is struggling because he's injured and came to the Chelsea match to try to help the team, but his physical condition wasn’t good and then he had to stop and wasn’t available for Juventus and he’s not available for Sunday. So now the point is to be physically in the best condition.”

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The Toffees, who sit eighth in the Premier League table after winning their last three games, have no fresh injury concerns to contend with ahead of visiting Old Trafford. 

Republic of Ireland midfielder James McCarthy is back in full training as he continues towards a full recovery after suffering a double leg fracture back in January, while defender Yerry Mina is available for selection. 

Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Cenk Tosun will be hoping they have done enough to start against United on Sunday, after both forwards scored as substitutes in last Sunday’s 2-0 home win over Crystal Palace. 

Two former Reds, defender Michael Keane and midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, could be reunited with their former team-mates again, having left United in 2015 and 2017 respectively. 

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