Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Ibrahimovic injury update from Milan

Tuesday 02 March 2021 14:40

AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli feels his side will have to cope without Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the Swede looks certain to miss out on a return to Manchester United in the Europa League.

The latest reports in Italy claim the Rossoneri hope the veteran striker will be available for the second leg in Milan on 18 March.

Zlatan confirmed at a separate press conference ahead of a music festival: "I was unlucky, I had a small injury", as coach Pioli previewed Wednesday's Serie A home clash with Udinese on Wednesday and spoke of the talisman being ruled out.

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"Zlatan is our champion," Pioli said. "He is the number one in everything and is one [real] weapon for us but the team has shown to be up to it, even in his absence."

Indeed, Milan won 2-1 at Roma at the weekend, after he went off injured, to sit in second place in the table, four points behind leaders and arch-rivals Inter.

Ibrahmovic's muscle injury in his left thigh is to be reassessed in nine days' time, which means he is to miss the games against Udinese, Hellas Verona, United and Napoli.

It would appear the earliest point for his return is the second leg of the Europa League tie with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Reds but that is only if his rehabilitation goes perfectly to plan.

Hakan Calhanoglu, Ismael Bennacer, Ante Rebic and Mario Mandzukic could all shrug off injuries in time to make next week's flight to Manchester.