Ibrahimovic edges closer to return: 'The knee is almost there'
Reuters / Phil Noble Livepic

It's just a matter of time before Zlatan Ibrahimovic joins Manchester United's crowded strikeforce, with the Swedish forward confirming he's "almost" recovered from a knee ligament injury.

Ibrahimovic has been out of action since April when he damaged the cruciate ligament in his knee. He was later released from the team after the 2016-17 campaign before United re-signed him to a new contract that runs through the current season.

Although it's widely believed the recovery process will keep him sidelined until January, Ibrahimovic revealed he's close to regaining fitness and promised to return to the elite level that saw him lead all United scorers during his first season in England.

"The knee is almost there," Ibrahimovic said to aftonbladet.se, as translated by ESPN FC's Rob Dawson. "I want everybody to have patience, and when I come back, the world will know. Keep supporting me, have patience, and I will come back stronger than ever."

Ibrahimovic, who has been training by himself since suffering the injury, re-signed with the Premier League outfit in August before being included by Jose Mourinho in United's Champions League squad earlier this month.

However, based on Mourinho's assesment that Ibrahimovic will not be available until the new year, the 35-year-old will likely be forced to miss the competition's group stage and hope United is able to advance to the knockout round.

United opens up its Champions League campaign Tuesday against FC Basel, with the final match against CSKA Moscow taking place Dec. 5

Ibrahimovic edges closer to return: 'The knee is almost there'
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