Manchester United have been handed an injury boost with the return of Spanish forward Juan Mata.
The attacking midfielder picked up an ankle injury during United's 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake on July 18th. It was unclear how long Mata would be ruled out for but the Spaniard returned to training yesterday and could feature in United's final International Champions Cup match in USA against Barcelona tonight.
Mata may play in Wednesday's friendly vs Barca
The Spaniard's return has come at a good time after the Red Devils lost Ander Herrera to a hip injury in the penalty shootout victory against Real Madrid, as the sides drew 1-1 in normal time. Again, José Mourinho is unsure how long Herrera will be ruled out for which has raised doubts as to whether he'll feature in the UEFA Super Cup on the 8th August. Mourinho will be pleased to have the 29-year-old Mata back as he was a key player for him last season, scoring 10 goals.
Utd hoping for near full squad for Super Cup
Mata's return means he still has four games to get back up to speed in time for the new season. United end their time in America against the Catalan giants and they'll then go to Oslo to play Valerenga on July 30th. That will be followed by a match against Italian side Sampdoria at the AVIVA Stadium in Dublin on August 2nd. All that before the Super Cup final against Real Madrid in Skopje on August 8th. Mata and the United players have plenty of match opportunities to boost match fitness ahead of their first Premier League match against West Ham United on Sunday, August 13th.
Mata's recovery means that apart from Herrera, their only absentees are long term that date back to last season. Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Ashley Young are still recovering but the United boss has confirmed their return dates. Shaw should be back in September, just in time for United's return to the UEFA Champions League. Young is expected to be back a month later while Rojo is set to return in December if all goes well.