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Jose Mourinho has ruled Juan Mata out of the remainder of Manchester United’s season, saying the Spain international will not be fit until “the end of May.”
Mata, already ruled out of Sunday’s Old Trafford clash with former club Chelsea after undergoing ground surgery last month, had been expected to return in time to boost United’s hopes of Champions League qualification.
But speaking after Thursday’s 1-1 Europa League draw against Anderlecht in Brussels, Mourinho gave a brief response when asked when he expected Mata to return.
“End of May,” Mourinho said. “And Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, mid-May.”
The loss of Mata, United’s second highest scorer this season behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic, leaves Mourinho’s team short on goal threat against the league leaders this weekend.
But despite his own success as Chelsea manager, Mourinho’s said that Sunday’s game means no more than any other to him.
“You say that word emotion. For me, it is just a game,” Mourinho said. “One more game. No difference for me, not at all.”