December 15, 2017 / 4:08 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Soccer-Manchester United defender Bailly to have ankle surgery

* Defender could be out for up to three months

* Ivory Coast international has not played since November

* Manager Mourinho against bringing in cover in January (Adds details, quotes)

Dec 15 (Reuters) - Manchester United defender Eric Bailly will undergo ankle surgery and could be sidelined for up to three months, manager Jose Mourinho said on Friday.

The Ivory Coast centre back, who has made eight league appearances for United this season, has not played since the 1-0 loss to Chelsea at the start of November.

“He goes to surgery, the decision is made. I don’t say (he’s out) for the rest of the season but it’s for the next two or three months,” Mourinho told MUTV.

“But now we have (Phil) Jones back and we have (Chris) Smalling, even (Daley) Blind, so it’s a position we have good cover in but of course we’ll miss the player.”

Mourinho said he was not thinking about bringing in new players in the January transfer window to bolster his squad unless a transfer target becomes available.

“I’m not a big defender of the January market,” Mourinho told a news conference on Friday.

“But there are players and situations that sometimes you have the chance to do and you shouldn’t lose that chance.”

Second-placed United travel to 17th-placed West Bromwich Albion on Sunday. (Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis and Ken Ferris)

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