Sources: Bailly hoping for early United return

Is this the worst Manchester United team in 30 years? (1:38)

Mark Ogden evaluates the current squad depth, who are the leaders within the team and what United are missing. (1:38)

Manchester United defender Eric Bailly is targeting an early return from knee surgery, sources have told ESPN FC.

Bailly had an operation in July after damaging ligaments in his right knee during a preseason friendly with Tottenham in Shanghai.

- ESPN Premier League fantasy: Sign up now!

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer initially said Bailly would be ruled out for around five months and was not expected back until the end of December.

However, early treatment has gone well and there is hope his recovery may not take as long as first thought.

The 25-year-old, who has not played a competitive fixture since suffering an injury to his left knee in April, is hopeful he could return to training in around two months and make his first team comeback after the November international break.

It is a welcome boost for Solskjaer, who is dealing with mounting injury problems just four games into the new season.

Luke Shaw has been ruled out for a month with a hamstring injury, while Anthony Martial missed the draw at Southampton with a thigh strain.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka withdrew from the England squad with a back injury before Jesse Lingard also returned to Carrington because of illness.

Meanwhile, Paul Pogba pulled out of the France squad after picking up an ankle problem against Southampton, and full-back Diogo Dalot travelled to China for treatment on a hip injury, spending 10 days with Shanghai SIPG injury specialist Eduardo Santos.

Dalot made 23 appearances in all competitions last season, but the 20-year-old is yet to feature this term after the arrival of Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace in the summer.