Manchester United are facing the prospect of losing Marouane Fellaini for up to two months following a recurrence of his knee injury during their 2-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday (31 January).
The Red Devils midfielder came on as a second-half substitute for Paul Pogba during the loss to Spurs but lasted just seven minutes before he had to be replaced by Ander Herrera.
Jose Mourinho confirmed after the game that Fellaini had suffered ligament damage, something he has been struggling since October last year. According to the Telegraph, the Belgian midfielder could be side-lined for up to two months depending on the extent of the injury.
Fellaini was expected to undergo scans on Thursday (1 February) to assess the damage after which the club will take a decision if surgery is required to correct the ligament injury. If there is further damage to his medial collateral ligament (MCL) and it is required for him to go under the knife, he is certain to be out for at least eight weeks.
The 30-year-old first suffered the knee ligament injury while on international duty with Belgium in October last year. Then he missed three games before returning to action, but he suffered his first setback after just three games and was side lined for over four weeks before returning at the start of the year for the FA Cup clash against Derby County.
However, the injury seems more serious than first feared as his latest recurrence comes after a total of just 45 minutes of football in his last four appearances. He looks certain to miss United's upcoming Premier League clash against Huddersfield Town on Saturday (3 February).
Mourinho is not short of options in midfield despite the injury as he has Nemanja Matic and Pogba as his first choice starters and has the option of Herrera and Michael Carrick from the bench. The latter has just returned after recovering from a heart condition that made sure he played just once in the first-half of the season.
Fellaini, meanwhile, could be playing his last few games for United as the Belgium international is out of contract in the summer and is yet to agree a new deal. The Portuguese coach is keen for him to sign, but the midfielder could leave in search of a new challenge after admitting that he has been mistreated in England for his physical style of play.