Man United right-back Antonio Valencia is reportedly set for a six-week spell on the sidelines after undergoing a hand operation.
The Ecuadorian international has made 11 appearances in all competitions so far this season, and has been one of the more trusted players by Jose Mourinho.
However, the United boss will have to deal with his absence with The Sun reporting that the 31-year-old will now be ruled out for up to six weeks.
It’s claimed that Valencia played through the pain barrier during the win over Manchester City in the EFL Cup last week after suffering the fracture.
In turn, he’s now had an operation and has his hand in a plaster with a comeback now unlikely until the middle of December.
It may well be a blessing in disguise for another United star though, with Matteo Darmian given an opportunity to establish himself as the first-choice right back in Valencia’s absence.
The Italian international has struggled to force his way into Mourinho’s plans since his arrival in the summer, but provided that he can stay fit and perform to the level that he has displayed for both Torino and Italy previously, he may well save his future in Manchester.
Further, it will give Timothy Fosu-Mensah a chance to also force his way up the pecking order, but whoever takes up the role, it’s certainly a loss to Mourinho to be without Valencia for the next couple of months.