Manchester United's plans for a pivotal Premier League clash with Arsenal on November 22nd have been plunged into further chaos by a fresh injury blow, with The Express reporting that Michael Carrick picked up a groin problem training for England earlier today.
Carrick will need a scan on the problem which means he's extremely unlikely to mark his return to Roy Hodgson's Three Lions squad by featuring in Saturday's European Championship qualifier against Slovenia.
There are much bigger worries than international football for United manager Louis van Gaal though, who must now sweat on a fitness worry concerning yet another one of his key stars before a double bill of qualifiers even begin.
United can't afford to lose Carrick
The 33-year-old has only just returned to action with United, with his experience and ability to fill at centre-back position which has been decimated by injuries making him a key figure at Old Trafford moving forward.
Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal handed Carrick his first start of the season against Crystal Palace last weekend and even moved him from central midfield to centre-back late on, but that's a luxury he may be without when United visit the Emirates next Saturday.
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Defensive crisis gives Van Gaal another headache
Van Gaal must be waiting for his luck to turn when it comes to getting the large share of his squad close to something approaching full fitness, but judging from Carrick's latest setback United are still in the midst of a full-blown injury crisis.
Despite the return from suspension of Chris Smalling the options available to Van Gaal at centre-back look thin for that Arsenal showdown to say the very least, with Marcos Rojo, Jonny Evans and Phil Jones all still sidelined.
Carrick represented a genuine option to sit in alongside Paddy McNair at the Emirates, but United now face an anxious wait for the results of tests by England medical staff before including the veteran in plans to earn three precious points against a direct rival for Champions League qualification.