Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has been ruled out for a month with a broken toe leaving Jose Mourinho somewhat red-faced after criticising him last week.
After Sunday’s 3-1 win at Swansea 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.”
Now though, according to the Daily Mail, Smalling will be missing for at least a month after sustaining a “badly broken toe in two places”.
The central defender may not play again before Christmas after discovering a double toe fracture.
Mourinho reportedly asked Smalling to have two injections in his foot to get through the Premier League game at Chelsea on October 23 and the Portuguese boss described his efforts as being ‘phenomenal’.
The England defender, who picked up the problem in the win over Fenerbahce on October 20 has not played since and he is believed to have declined to play against Swansea because of the pain.
That led Mourinho to single out Smalling and full-back Shaw, but results have now shown that Smalling is likely to miss key Premier League games against Arsenal, Everton and Tottenham.
Phil Jones has returned to the first-team squad provide some cover, but £30million man Eric Bailly will still be absent for at least another month with knee ligament damage.
Mourinho is expected to strengthen his squad during the January window.