Jose Mourinho has admitted to being handed unwelcome injury “surprises” by Manchester United players returning to Old Trafford from international duty.
The Red Devils had already seen the likes of Jesse Lingard, Ander Herrera and Marcos Rojo pick up knocks during domestic competition.
They then discovered that Luke Shaw, Diogo Dalot, Marouane Fellaini, Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay had suffered problems while away with their respective countries.
Mourinho has now suggested that his list of absentees could be even longer than first feared, with United currently preparing for a Premier League test away at Chelsea on Saturday.
“The squad shape is that everybody available is selected,” the Portuguese told MUTV.
“[I had] a bit of everything [in the international break]. We work here with the players that stayed here. I went to an international match [in Serbia] as you know.
“Then we came back and we were waiting for the boys to come back from their national teams. Some came back in good condition and the happiness of some good results. Some came back with injuries, injuries that we were aware of when they happened and the national teams were correct in sending the boys back.
“We also had surprises with players that we had no idea that they were injured and they arrived with important injuries.”
While Mourinho has seen a number of players ruled out of the plans he is piecing together for a trip to Stamford Bridge, he is hoping to have Ander Herrera back at his disposal.
The Spain international has done an impressive containing job on Eden Hazard in the recent past and could prove to be a useful asset if called upon again in west London.
Mourinho added: “Players that are going to make an effort to be available for the team, like Herrera. He trained two days but, with the situation we have, is one step forward and he’s ready to help us.”