It appears outspoken and polarizing AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not be available to play against one of his former clubs next week.
Per ESPN's Andrew Cesare Richardson, Ibrahimovic is likely to miss the round-of-16 Europa League match versus Premier League side Manchester United on March 11 because of an abductor muscle injury he suffered during Sunday's 2-1 Serie A victory over AS Roma.
Milan are planning to assess Ibrahimovic's status in 10 days, the same day as the European fixture. There's currently no set timetable for the 39-year-old's return to the pitch.
As things stand on Monday afternoon, United are scheduled to host AC Milan at Old Trafford for the first leg, but that matchup could be moved to a neutral venue due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions. Ibrahimovic was with United from the summer of 2016 through March 2018 and won the EFL Cup and Europa League during his tenure with the club.
Ibrahimovic made international headlines last week when he criticized Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James during an interview for UEFA and Discovery+ in Sweden.
"What he does is phenomenal, but I don’t like it when people with a certain ‘status’ talk about politics," Ibrahimovic said of James. "Do what you are good at. I play football because I am the best at it. If I was a politician, I’d have gone into politics.
"This is the first mistake that famous people make when they feel like they’ve arrived. I think it’s better to steer clear of these issues and do what you’re good at."
James responded by saying that "there's no way I would ever just stick to sports."