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Pioli offers optimistic update on Ibrahimovic’s return from injury

Zlatan Ibrahimovic - AC Milan
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The ageless Swede was forced off in the second half of the match against Roma last week after picking up a muscular injury.

Stefano Pioli is hopeful that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be able to return to full fitness when AC Milan resume their Europa League campaign on Thursday.

Ibrahimovic has been in sensational form this season, scoring 14 goals in as many appearances in Serie A so far.

A muscle injury, however, has prevented the Sweden international from participating in his side’s last two fixtures.

The 39-year-old watched on from the stands as Milan claimed a 2-0 victory over Hellas Verona on Sunday to maintain pressure on leaders Inter Milan, with only three points now separating the two rivals.

The Rossoneri are now set to clash with Manchester United for the Europa League last-16 first-leg at Old Trafford, and Ibrahimovic could return in time to face his former side.

“He is better,” said Pioli, via Eurosport. “Tomorrow he will have another examination to see how his recovery is going, we hope he can recover by Thursday.

“He knew the difficulties of the game and was planning to be here today. We saw him at the technical meeting, he immediately asked for information on how we were doing and we greeted him with affection. “He helped and stimulated us, as great champions do.”