Manchester United have denied that defender Chris Smalling could be absent until Christmas with a broken toe.
The club have not issued a statement surround Smalling’s fitness but a club representative denied the story to Reuters on Friday without elaborating.
“We don’t comment on rumours or speculation but I can say that the story in the (Daily) Mail isn’t true.”
Smalling has not played since the 4-0 defeat at Chelsea last month, when featured after undergoing a pain-killing injection in his toe.
After Sunday’s 3-1 win at Swansea boss Jose Mourinho took a swipe at Smalling and Luke Shaw after neither of them were available for the south Wales clash through injury.
When asked about the England internationals, Mourinho told MUTV: “Smalling doesn’t feel that he can play 100% with his pain, Luke Shaw told me this morning that he was not in the condition to play, so we had to build a defensive line.”
The Daily Mail this morning claimed Smalling will be missing for at least a month after sustaining a “badly broken toe in two places” – a story which now seems to be inaccurate if United’s spokesperson is to be believed.
Both players were overlooked for England’s World Cup qualifier against Scotland at Wembley on Friday with interim manager Gareth Southgate telling reporters “they are not fit and that’s ruled them out for us this time”.
“Obviously it’s a difficult one because I don’t know the reason for the comments Jose’s made,” said Southgate.
Meanwhile, Gary Neville, who worked with Smalling as England assistant boss, said: “Having worked with [Smalling] for four years he has always been incredibly impeccable and trustworthy, someone I always felt would run through a brick wall, so I am surprised.”