Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has revealed that midfield ace Michael Carrick has suffered an injury setback in his attempt to regain full fitness.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of the club's FA Cup fifth round clash with League One outfit Preston North End on Monday night, the Dutch boss has insisted that the player's setback is only minor.
After picking up a muscle rupture last month, it was initially reported that the 33-year-old would be out for around four weeks, however it's now uncertain as to when he will make his first-team return.
Carrick, of course, missed the start of the campaign after picking up an injury in pre-season, but returned to the team in November, and quickly proved to be an integral member of Louis van Gaal's side at the Theatre of Dreams.
It now appears, however, that United will have to make do without the former Tottenham man for a little while longer, but fans of the Red Devils will no doubt be hoping that he returns to the set up sooner rather than later.
And, ahead of next week's cup clash, United have problems in the middle of the park, with the Red Devils boss admitting that Daley Blind could miss the showdown after coming off with an injury in the club's 3-1 Premier League victory over strugglers Burnley on Wednesday.
Perhaps, then, captain Wayne Rooney will start in the midfield role, with the likes of Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera also in contention for a starting place.
Despite securing many positive results of late, the Red Devils have failed to produce the good in terms of the performance, so Van Gaal will be hoping that his midfielders manage to take hold of Monday's match.
Carrick is key
Manchester United fans though will no doubt that Carrick returns to action in the near future. There's no doubt about it, Carrick has been the Red Devils' standout midfielder over the last few years, so he could prove a key man over the final few months of the season.
With the English veteran in the side, United certainly look more balanced, so he could yet prove a valuable member of the side in the run in.
Manchester United fans: Will Carrick have a key role to play before the end of the season? Have your say in the comments section below!