Louis van Gaal is set to be without nine players for Manchester United's upcoming Premier League trip to Bournemouth, with defensive duo Matteo Darmian and Chris Smalling added to the club's lengthy list of absentees following the crushing 3-2 defeat to Wolfsburg. There is one piece of positive news emerging from the busy treatment room at Old Trafford, however, with Morgan Schneiderlin deemed available for selection.
The France international, a £25m ($37.8m) summer arrival from Southampton, was replaced by Michael Carrick shortly before half-time against West Ham United and did not travel with the rest of the first-team squad for that decisive Champions League clash in Germany.
He will now be expected to replace fellow midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, who did feature in midweek but will now serve a three-match domestic ban after choosing not to contest an FA charge of violent conduct for his ill-judged elbow on Winston Reid.
Addressing his current injury situation, Van Gaal told MUTV: "It is not so good because we have eight injured players because Darmian and also Smalling we can add to this list and Schweinsteiger is also suspended so that's nine players who are not able to play.
"Schneiderlin is coming back that's not a problem but we have a list of eight players injured and Rojo has been operated on this week and it takes a long time. These injuries are very heavy – [Luke] Shaw and [Antonio] Valencia have also been operated and that's our problem."
Darmian and Smalling did both start against Wolfsburg, but the former lasted just 43 minutes before limping off with a hamstring knock. The latter completed the full 90 minutes but was subsequently revealed to have sustained a groin issue. Van Gaal is confident that both players will be in a position to return before the busy festive period.
United's extensive injury problems led to 22-year-old full-back Guillermo Varela making his full debut at Volkswagen Arena, while young Cameron Borthwick-Jackson was called upon to replace Darmian. Forgotten midfielder Nick Powell was likewise summoned from a youthful substitutes bench that also included Paddy McNair and Andreas Pereira.
Valencia and Shaw remain absent after undergoing surgery on foot and leg injuries respectively, with captain Wayne Rooney also currently sidelined due to an ankle problem. Phil Jones and Ander Herrera are not yet ready to return from ankle and hamstring issues, meanwhile, and Marcos Rojo this week became the latest player to go under the knife after dislocating his shoulder during training.