James Wilson is likely to be sidelined for an extended period of time after Manchester United confirmed that the striker will undergo surgery after he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury while on loan with Derby County. The striker returned to the club earlier in the month from the Championship outfit and after prolonged diagnosis, it has been decided that the striker will go under the knife.

It is a big blow for the England U21 international, who was hoping to impress Jose Mourinho during his spell away from Old Trafford in the hopes of breaking back into the Red Devils first-team squad next season. He had made four appearances for the Rams thus far, and newly appointed Derby boss Steve McLaren was gutted to hear about the severity of Wilson's injury. The former England manager has backed the forward to come back stronger.

"It's incredibly disappointing news that James has suffered an injury like this," McLaren told Derby's official site after the injury was confirmed on Friday (21 October).

"Only last week, I was saying how much I was looking forward to working with him because he is an exciting young talent. I know that he will bounce back from this disappointment, especially as well as being a very good player, he is also a strong and determined character."

Wilson was sent on season-long loan to Derby at the start of the season, after Mourinho deemed him surplus to requirements with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Anthomy Martial, Marcus Rashford and Wayne Rooney ahead of him in the pecking order at Old Trafford. United reserves coach Warren Joyce echoed McLaren's words and urged the striker to remain positive and come back in the "best shape" possible when he makes his return.

James Wilson
James Wilson is set to be sidelined for an extended period of time with an anterior cruciate ligament injury Getty

"It's a great disappointment for him and for the club as well. He's got to look to work his socks off and come back in the best shape he's ever been in his life. All you can do when you have setbacks is to try to be positive and look to make sure when you do return, it's in the best shape," United reserves coach Joyce told United's official site.