Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has sought to allay fans' concerns about injured forward Alexis Sanchez, who missed the Red Devils' dismal 3-2 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion in a Premier League clash at the Amex Stadium on Sunday.
Speaking after the game about Sanchez's injury, and quoted on the Manchester United website, Mourinho said: "Let’s wait for the results of the studies, but I don’t think it’s a big thing. I think it will be one or two weeks maximum."
In Friday's press conference, the United manager had given no indication that Sanchez was injured. However, when interviewed before the match - and quoted by the Manchester Evening News - Mourinho said: "Alexis was going to play but he had a little problem, so we had to decide to give an opportunity to another attacking player."
Details of the 'little problem' weren't forthcoming, which gave rise to speculation in some quarters - not least from Sam Allardyce on beIN Sports - that the Chile star wasn't really injured but had fallen out with Mourinho. However, this supposition has not been corroborated by any reports.
In any event, Sanchez continues to endure a frustrating spell at Old Trafford - he has netted just twice for United in the league and gave a disappointing display in the 2-1 win over Leicester City in the Red Devils' Premier League opener.
Because of his underwhelming record at United, it isn't clear whether Sanchez's presence would have enhanced his side's attacking threat on Sunday. In any case, United were poor at both ends of the pitch, as Paul Pogba's late penalty gave a flattering gloss to the scoreline.
Mourinho's charges will next face Tottenham at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Monday 27th August - a clash for which Sanchez could conceivably return. Spurs have won both their opening fixtures, with Harry Kane finally ending his August hoodoo in Saturday's 3-1 win over Fulham.