Manchester United defender Antonio is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after undergoing surgery on his injured foot earlier in the week. The Ecuadorian international limped out during the Red Devils' 0-0 draw against local rivals Manchester City on 25 October.
According to The Sun, the winger turned full-back is set to be sidelined for at least five months following the surgery, after the doctors informed him that the injury was worse than first feared. It is believed that the player could have aggravated it by continuing to play despite the knock.
The report claims that the full-back injured a bone above his left foot during the game, but did not realise the extent of the injury and aggravated it by continuing to play through the pain, until he was hauled off in the 81st minute.
"He (Valencia) had a kick on his foot in the first half and then I let Darmian warm up on the touchline. But then he played further. However, at the end, he could not continue," Van Gaal had said following the 0-0 Manchester Derby draw, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
The Dutch manager is facing an injury crisis in the full-back areas with Marcos Rojo and Matteo Darmian the only players available as cover at left-back and right-back respectively. This has prompted the manager to promote youth team prospect Cameron Borthwick-Jackson to the first-team, with the youngster making his debut during United's 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion, in place of the Argentinean at left-back. Ashley Young remains an option as well for Van Gaal in emergency situations.
Valencia, meanwhile, has given some positive news after he revealed that his surgery had gone successfully without any complications. He shared a picture from the hospital on his official Twitter page. "Thank God came out well from the operation. Now think about my recovery," the Ecuadorian international tweeted.