Report claims Eric Bailly's ankle injury was actually caused by Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Manchester United's Eric Bailly will be out of action for up to three months.
Jose Mourinho confirmed the news on Friday afternoon, explaining that the 23-year-old, who hasn't played for United since their 1-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in November, will undergo surgery on his ankle.
Although it's been widely reported that Bailly picked up the injury while on international duty with the Ivory Coast squad in October, a report by Andy Mitten in The National suggests it was actually the result of a training ground challenge from United teammate, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The defender is said to have damaged ankle ligaments and, having been treated with painkillers, is now expected to have an operation to try and fix the problem in early January.
The news is clearly a huge blow for United, where Bailly has established himself as one of Mourinho's first choice centre-halves since his arrival from Villarreal 18 months ago.
Despite Mourinho's warning that Bailly could be out for up to three weeks, Mitten writes that the player is confident of making a comeback somewhere between late January and mid-February. This would put him in contention to be fit for United's Champions League last 16 first leg against Sevilla.