Manchester United have been dealt an injury blow more severe than first expected with news that Marouane Fellaini will face six weeks on the sidelines.
The Belgian international is continuing to play despite the wrist injury, with a special cast designed to protect the ligaments from more damage.
However, The Daily Mail reports that, when Fellaini does go under the knife, he will subsequently be forced to miss up to a month of action.
The paper goes on to claim that the former Everton star is set to be operated on in either December or January, with David Moyes and his medical team agreeing that’s the right time.
It means Fellaini will be able to play in Belgium’s potential World Cup play-off encounters, as well as the majority of the Champions League group games for Manchester United.
He will miss a number of high-profile games for the Red Devils whichever month they decide to go ahead with the procedure, with matches against Spurs and Shakhtar in December, as well as Spurs and Chelsea in January.
The length of time out is sure to be a blow to Manchester United manager David Moyes, who has faced a tricky start to life at Old Trafford after replacing Sir Alex Ferguson.
Fellaini was his big-name signing in the transfer window, but after failing to hit the ground running, the injury will further hinder his progression with the Premier League champions.