Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck could be out for up to five weeks if the club decide to send him for surgery on his injured knee.
Welbeck hasn't featured for the Red Devils since midway through October, and the medical team at Old Trafford must know decide whether to operate now to rid him of the issue or risk further troubles later in the season.
The 22-year old, who has netted twice in six appearances for the club so far this campaign, has had two previous operations on his knee.
Doctors decided against removing the whole cartilage previously due to Welbeck's age, and the striker is hoping that intense treatment will help avoid keyhole surgery as he bids to return to the United first-team.
Manager David Moyes has already lost Michael Carrick until Christmas with an achilles problem, whilst star striker Robin van Persie also opted out of international duty with Holland due to minor injuries.
Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini could also miss up ten weeks once he has surgery on his injured wrist, and the mounting number of players on the treatment table will no doubt worry Moyes as the club head towards the crucial festive period.
In that time, United face tough Premier League encounters with Tottenham Hotspur and Moyes' former club Everton, as well as tricky Champions League ties away to Bayer Leverkusen and at home to Shakhtar Donetsk.