Zla­tan nears re­turn as Man Utd vow to keep fight­ing

Sunday Observer - - SPORT - AFP ANCHESTER - Im­prov­ing

MZla­tan Ibrahi­movic is near­ing a re­turn to fit­ness as Manch­ester United seek to strengthen their grip on sec­ond place in the Pre­mier League when they visit New­cas­tle to­day.

The former Paris Saint-Ger­main has strug­gled to get back to his best since suf­fer­ing cru­ci­ate knee lig­a­ment dam­age dur­ing a Europa League vic­tory over An­der­lecht last April.

He made his come­back in the re­verse fix­ture against New­cas­tle at Old Traf­ford in Novem­ber, a match that Jose Mour­inho's side won 4-1, but has not played since late De­cem­ber due to con­cerns over his knee.

"Zla­tan started train­ing with the team two days ago," said Mour­inho on Fri­day. "So he has been two days with the group and is im­prov­ing."

Mour­inho would be ex­tremely cau­tious about throw­ing him straight back into ac­tion to­day, al­though his squad is oth­er­wise in rea­son­ably good health.

De­fend­ers Eric Bailly and Da­ley Blind are bot h e x pect e d to re­turn from an­kle in­juries be­fore the e nd of Fe­bru­ary, a l t hough midfi e l der Marouane Fel­laini will not make his come­back un­til March as re­cov­ers from knee surgery. he striker

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