Manchester United have suffered a massive injury setback in the form of Michael Carrick who, according to the Daily Mail, is set to miss up to six weeks of action owing to an injured Achilles.
The 32-year-old is out of England's friendlies against Chile and Germany but his absence will be more chastening for David Moyes, who relies on the England international to hold his midfield together.
Carrick played a major role in repelling Arsenal in United's 1-0 win over the Premier League leaders at Old Trafford on Sunday and his unavailability will be a major cause for concern. Although Marouane Fellaini could slot in for Carrick, the Belgian's range of passing and discipline is a long way off the former Tottenham man.
Carrick will miss important games against Tottenham and Everton, in a period which may define United's title credentials. The Newcastle-born star will also miss Champions League games against Bayer Leverkuen and Shakhtar Donetsk.
The injury is believed to have flared up after Carrick was patched up to enable him to play against Arsenal and was then treated in a Manchester hospital where it was reportedly confirmed that he will miss most of United's games through Christmas.
Carrick is not the only player who is set to miss out, with Danny Welbeck's knee problems also not responding to treatment.
United are on a nine game unbeaten run and Moyes has to manage his troops properly if he has to maintain momentum in the Premier League. The defending Champions are currently in fifth position, five points below league leaders Arsenal and pushing for a spot in the Champions League places.
Carrick himself has discussed United's recent form, expressing the view that it was only a matter of time before the Red Devils bounced back from their dismal start to the season.
"After a shocking start we are not in a bad position. We never really got too despondent. We were frustrated with our performances and results but you have to stay patient and trust yourself. We knew there was a long way to go and there still is," he said.