Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has been dealt another injury blow with the news that Ander Herrera fractured a rib during Saturday’s 2-1 victory over West Ham at Old Trafford.
The Spaniard, who completed a £29 million move to Old Trafford from Athletic Bilbao in the summer, is now expected to spend the next few weeks on the sidelines.
In a tweet posted on Tuesday afternoon, Manchester United confirmed the news via their official Twitter account, which reads: “INJURY UPDATE: Ander Herrera sustained a fractured rib vs West Ham. We'll continue to monitor his progress over the next few weeks.”
Herrera to miss Everton match
Herrera, who it was initially feared had suffered a back injury against the Hammers, will almost certainly miss this weekend’s Premier League clash against Everton.
Van Gaal will then hope that his star central midfielder recovers in time to play against West Brom and Chelsea after the international break.
Herrera has scored two goals in his first four appearances for the Red Devils, and his energy and tenacity will be sorely missed by United ahead of this weekend’s match against the Toffees.
Van Gaal's bad luck continues
Van Gaal has not enjoyed much luck on the injury front since arriving at Old Trafford, and now has a total of ten first-team stars sidelined due to various problems.
United lined up against West Ham without any of their three first-choice centre-backs - Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans - while midfielders Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini have made one Premier League appearance between them so far this season.
Van Gaal’s luck appeared to have taken a turn for the better on Monday, when it was revealed that Jones should be fit to start against Everton, but this latest blow could seriously hinder United’s chances of securing all three points this weekend.
Changes to be made
The situation has not been helped by captain Wayne Rooney, who is suspended until November after earning a straight red card against West Ham, but Juan Mata should return to the starting line-up on Sunday lunchtime.
Van Gaal will be desperately hoping that he is in a position to select either Fellaini or Carrick this weekend, although he still has both Anderson and vice-captain Darren Fletcher at his disposal to play alongside Angel di Maria and Daley Blind.
This latest set-back could further convince the Manchester United manager that, in order to secure a top-four finish at the end of this season, buying another central midfielder when the transfer window re-opens in January is imperative.