Chris Smalling injury: Man United boss Jose Mourinho red faced

Javier Howell
November 12, 2016

Manchester United's Chris Smalling has been ruled out for around a month.

Mourinho, the United manager, questioned the pain threshold of Smalling and Luke Shaw, the left back, after they made themselves unavailable for the 3-1 win away to Swansea City on Sunday.

Mourinho's predecessor Louis van Gaal encountered a bad injury crisis while in charge last season, giving opportunities to several youngsters including Marcus Rashford and Timothy Fosu-Mensah, while United often had similar crises going back to the Sir Alex Ferguson years when Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher would occasionally have to fill in at centre-back.

It is not known when the defender suffered the injury but it is believed to have occurred in training.

The club have not issued a statement surround Smalling's fitness but a club representative denied the story to Reuters on Friday without elaborating.

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Smalling last featured in United's 4-0 drubbing by Chelsea on October 23 and has featured in seven of the team's 11 Premier League games this season.

"Obviously it's a hard one because I don't know the reason for the comments Jose's made", said Southgate.

On Mourinho's comments, 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".

United are already without the injured Eric Bailly, while Belgium sent Marouane Fellaini back to the club with a thigh problem.