Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho on Wednesday said he was “very positive” the club’s former manager Alex Ferguson would return to full health after suffering a brain haemorrhage.
Ferguson had emergency surgery last weekend which Manchester United said had gone “extremely well” and the 76-year-old is recovering from the operation in intensive care.
Speaking ahead of Manchester United’s English Premier League trip to West Ham United on Thursday, Mourinho was reluctant to discuss Ferguson’s health in detail out of respect for his family’s privacy.
But he was confident the Scot would make a full recovery.
“His family ask for privacy and that’s what I am going to respect,” Mourinho told reporters. “But we are positive, very positive. We are confident.”
When asked if Ferguson’s condition would have an impact on the team, Mourinho said: “No, I can only think that if there is any relation it is a positive relation.”
Manchester United have already qualified for next season’s UEFA Champions League and just need a point to guarantee finishing in second place behind arch-rivals and title winners Manchester City.
Mourinho said striker Romelu Lukaku would miss Manchester United’s trip to West Ham United and Sunday’s final match of the season at home to Watford.
But he added that it was “possible” the Belgian would be fit for the English FA Cup final match against Chelsea at Wembley on May 19.
Lukaku, Manchester United’s top goalscorer with 27 goals this season, suffered a foot injury in a league win over Arsenal last month.
His compatriot Marouane Fellaini, who started last week’s 1-0 league defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion, will also miss the trip to the London Stadium with a muscular problem.
“Lukaku will not play in the last league game of the season,” Mourinho added. “Fellaini might (play against Watford)… it is a muscular problem. We will wait and see.”
Manchester United captain Michael Carrick, who is set to retire at the end of the season and join Mourinho’s coaching staff, will make his farewell appearance against Watford this weekend.
The 36-year-old midfielder has won five English Premier League titles, the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, English FA Cup, three League Cup trophies and the FIFA Club World Cup.
This was since he joined Manchester United from Tottenham Hotspur in 2006.
“He will start the last match, at Old Trafford, the last match of the Premier League, our captain in front of our fans, he will start the match against Watford,” Mourinho said.
“Some guys prefer to study, go to youth football, but in this situation, we decided the bridge can be that bridge — (he can) change shirts, dressing rooms and offices and start to be an assistant.”