Marouane Fellaini faces a spell on the sidelines after undergoing a knee operation on Saturday morning to cure a knee problem.
The Belgian was withdrawn at Wembley against Tottenham after only seven minutes on the pitch as a substitute and missed the 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town.
The surgery took place on the 30-year-old’s left knee to remove a displaced fragment of lateral meniscus. The procedure was straightforward and he can start rehabilitation immediately. The club expects him to return within six weeks.
Speaking earlier at his post-match press conference, manager Jose Mourinho confirmed he must plan without the midfielder, and suggested there is no threat to his hopes of playing at the World Cup finals.
“He had surgery this morning,” said the boss. “I don’t want to be very specific. I prefer the doctor give you some information officially that we can put on our website. But it is not the end of the season. Not at all.
“It’s a small intervention in his external meniscus and I want to believe that, by the end of the March, he can be back. If he is back by the end of March, I hope we have a big April and a big May and we are still to play in more than one competition.”
Fellaini joins Eric Bailly and Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the list of absentees although both are making progress in terms of their fitness.