Manchester United’s midfield creativity problems are set continue, as Tom Cleverley has been ruled out until Christmas due to injury.
It was in United’s 1-0 win over Everton that Cleverley sustained ankle ligament damage, although Sir Alex Ferguson initially was not concerned as the damage was said to be minor.
Scans have since revealed the injury to be more extensive than the Old Trafford medical team first anticipated though.
The United boss said: "It is pretty long term. (He will be out until) Christmas time. It is unfortunate. It is worse than we thought.
"When he first came off against Everton he reported it as just a tightness, with a bit of pain.
"We have done scans again and the injury has recurred. We will have to give him a break."
It has been a frustrating season for the young England international, with his progress after breaking into the Old Trafford first team being hampered by a number of setbacks.
However, there is some good news for United on the injury front, as Rafael Da Silva is making his long awaited return from injury next week.
The Brazilian full back has been penciled in to play a reserve game against Wigan on Thursday – his first action since dislocating his shoulder in August.
Darron Gibson is set to make his comeback for the Champions from his own injury problems in the same fixture, though he was with the Republic of Ireland squad during their recent Euro 2012 qualification success.