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Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic stunned reporters before being asked: 'How's the knee?'

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic has made his intentions very clear to help Manchester United be crowned Premier League champions this season.

Following seven months out injured with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, the 36-year-old made his return during the 4-1 win over Newcastle United on Saturday.

And he started as he meant to go on at Old Trafford by coming on in the 77th minute, moving Romelu Lukaku out wide and almost scoring a stunning goal.

Nemanja Matic found the Swede at the back post to produce a powerful bicycle kick that was smartly saved by Rob Elliot.

Jose Mourinho will have been excited by what he saw from Ibrahimovic, who will need time to regain full fitness and prove he's the same player that scored 28 goals last season.

Initial signs look positive, though. He suffered a career-threatening injury that would have defeated most players his age, but this is the 'God of Manchester' we're talking about.

Only time will tell whether Ibrahimovic's knee injury has sped up his decline but judging by what he did in the mixed zone after Saturday's game, he's as good as new.

According to ESPN's Rob Dawson and confirmed by the Independent, moments before Ibrahimovic spoke to reporters, he acrobatically vaulted over a set of barriers to get to them.

Dawson claims his first question to Ibrahimovic was going to be, "How's the knee?" but he was given his answer without having to ask.

It's been said before, but Zlatan is a machine. When he got around to speaking to reporters, the striker revealed his knee injury was a lot worse than people think.

"In my recovery I have not rushed anything," he said. "People may believe that because I have been out for six and a half months but I have been following protocol and my schedule day by day.

"The only secret has been working hard. Those close to me know what I have been doing - I was working five, six hours a day. When it happened I said to everybody giving up was not an option.

TOPSHOT-FBL-ENG-PR-MAN UTD-NEWCASTLE

"My only focus was on coming back and coming back better. For that you need to work hard. I know when I'm back it's my head playing, not my knee. My knee has to follow.

"But this was not a one-man work, it was everyone's and it is thanks to them that I am back on the field and can play.

"If people really knew the real injury they would be in shock that I was even playing, but I keep that personal.

"People think it was only the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in my knee, but it was more than the ACL. But it's sensitive and that's why I don't choose to talk about it."

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Topics:
Jose Mourinho
Manchester United
Premier League
Romelu Lukaku
Football
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris Saint-Germain

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