The cruciate ligament injury was expected to keep the 36-year-old out for almost a year - but the ex-PSG, Barcelona and Juventus man has made a stunning recovery.
"Zlatan is working under our control here as I would expect".
Let him take his time and be back when everybody feels is the right moment.
Mourinho went on suggest he "did not know" when Paul Pogba would return from his hamstring injury, while Marcus Rashford is fit to play against Huddersfield on Saturday after an injury scare in Wednesday night's Champions League game against Benfica. For the last 17 years, the Portuguese has witnessed the behaviours and machinations of those coming back from injury and there is clearly something in the way Zlatan is going about his business that encourages him. Do I believe he'll be back in 2017? "I don't know when he comes back, when he's available, I've no idea", said Mourinho.
"It doesn't mean I don't miss the players, that I wouldn't like them available, it's just the way I try to do it".
"We have the same players as we had for the Benfica match", said Mourinho.
"It's just then a question of the way you position yourself in relation to that, the way you think is best way you think is to do it". "I don't know when he's available".
"The way we think is the best way to do it is to speak always about opportunities for others, trust for others and believe in others".
"The injury process normally is some guys get injured, some guys recover from injury unless we lose completely the balance this happens to nearly every team unless some team has a phenomenal season where everything goes well and not even a broken nail happens to a player". Despite this and a lengthy injury list Mourinho does not wish to discuss the January transfer window.
"I love his banter and I think his enthusiasm for the game of football, and what he is around the complex, speaks volumes about him".