Man United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Marcos Rojo all fit to return
MANCHESTER -- Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Paul Pogba and Marcos Rojo have been included in Manchester United's squad for this weekend's clash with Newcastle, manager Jose Mourinho confirmed on Friday.
Ibrahimovic and Rojo have been sidelined since April after suffering knee ligament injuries in the same game against Anderlecht in the Europa League quarterfinals, while Pogba has not played since suffering a hamstring tear against Basel on Sept. 12.
Pogba and Ibrahimovic have returned to full training, while Rojo played 45 minutes for the under-23s against Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday, and Mourinho revealed all three are in contention to feature against Newcastle at Old Trafford.
"All three selected for the match," Mourinho told a news conference on Friday. "Paul, you can clearly see Manchester United this season before Paul's injury and after Paul's injury.
"There are qualities in our football that influence our approach in matches, with Pogba and without Pogba, that's as simple as that.
"Zlatan, last season we played with him every minute almost until he was injured; this season we learn how to play without him, but he's a very important player for us and of course welcome back."
Ibrahimovic, who turned 36 last month, had initially been expected to remain out at least until January after tearing his ACL. United released him when his contract expired in June, only to sign him to a new one-year deal in August.
Mourinho then included him in his Champions League squad, suggesting he believed the former Sweden international could return before the end of 2017.
"Of course, incredible personality to fight such an important injury," Mourinho said on Friday. "We were all saying in 2017 he will be back, but one thing is Dec. 31, 2017, and another thing is mid-November. He was as an injured player the same super professional he is when he's fit.
"So fantastic work, same as Marcos, is an important injury too, a big surgery; he played with the young boys on Wednesday and is fine, is confident, is also ready.
"Paul is obviously not the same dimension, was not a surgical situation but was also bad and all three are back."
Ibrahimovic scored 28 goals in 46 games last season before his campaign was ended by injury. United signed Romelu Lukaku as a replacement, and Mourinho has suggested he could soon use the pair in tandem up front.
"Good players can play together. Is easy to play together," Mourinho said. "Zlatan made a full recovery; now you cannot expect him to play 90 minutes or consecutive matches like he did all his career. Now he needs time to be back for his level, his fitness, his confidence, everything, his sharpness, but, by the clinical point of view, it is fantastic to be ready."
If United avoid defeat against Newcastle it will extend their unbeaten run at Old Trafford to 38 games in all competitions -- matching a run between December 1998 and April 2000. United have also not conceded a Premier League goal at home since April.
Mourinho, though, is only interested in getting back on track after defeat to Chelsea in their last match before the international break.
"We don't play for records, and if you concede a goal but we score two at least I'm happy," he said. "The objective is to win matches at home. The objective is not to concede goals. Of course if you don't concede you are closer to winning matches but that is not an obsession for us.
"The record means absolutely nothing for us. We lost the last match, we need points. I know the way Newcastle plays and the way Rafael Benitez prepares his teams. We need to get back to the points we need."
Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.