Man United deny Smalling could miss six more weeks

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LON­DON: Manch­ester United have de­nied a Bri­tish news­pa­per re­port that said de­fender Chris Smalling could be ab­sent un­til late De­cem­ber with a bro­ken toe. “We don’t com­ment on ru­mors or spec­u­la­tion but I can say that the story in the (Daily) Mail isn’t true,” a club rep­re­sen­ta­tive said yes­ter­day with­out elab­o­rat­ing. Smalling has not played since the 4-0 de­feat at Chelsea last month.

Man­ager Jose Mour­inho ap­peared to ques­tion the com­mit­ment of Smalling and left back Luke Shaw af­ter the two Eng­land in­ter­na­tion­als missed Sun­day’s 3-1 win over Swansea City. The Por­tuguese said Smalling “doesn’t feel he can play 100 per­cent with­out pain”, adding there was “a dif­fer­ence be­tween the brave, who want to be there at any cost, and the ones for whom a lit­tle pain can make a dif­fer­ence”.

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”. He did not spec­ify what the in­juries were. “Ob­vi­ously it’s a dif­fi­cult one be­cause I don’t know the rea­son for the com­ments Jose’s made,” said South­gate. United, who are sixth in the Premier League and trail lead­ers Liver­pool by eight points af­ter 11 matches, play their next fix­ture at home to fourth-placed Arse­nal on Nov 19. — Reuters

Chris Smalling

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