Jose Mourinho has addressed concerns over Juan Mata‘s fitness at Manchester United, claiming he could play a role against Celta Vigo in the Europa League semi-final on Thursday night.
The Portuguese boss claimed Mata could come off the bench as he’s still not ready to play a full 90 minutes as he looks to make his comeback from injury.
Mata has been sidelined with a groin injury in recent weeks but returned to the bench for the 1-1 draw with Swansea City, returning at a key point in the season as United are fighting for Champions League football in the Europa League and Premier League.
Speaking about the Spaniard’s return, Mourinho claims he’ll have a vital role to play.
“Mata was injured for a while but he is ready to play,” he said.
“He is experienced, he is one of the few players that has played European semi-finals and finals. But the only risk is he cannot play 90 minutes but that is the risk of if he starts, does he finish. If he comes from the bench no problem for him to play. He is selected and he can perfectly make a contribution.”
Mata has been a vital player this season and it was such a blow to have him sidelined, however, he’s made a very speedy recovery and hopes are he can get back to his best at a time where his creative magic is really needed.