Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has confirmed Rafael will be out of action for the rest of the season having broken his ribs playing for the U21s.
Reports earlier this week suggested as much but van Gaal has now officially confirmed the bad news.
The Brazilian, who has barely featured for the first-team since the start of the year, suffered the injury while playing for the U21s against Leicester City on Monday night.
It is a desperately sad situation for Rafael as it looks likely that he may have played his last game for United.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 24, 2015
Van Gaal is said to be on the lookout for a right-back, with the club linked to Southampton’s Nathaniel Clyne and Barcelona’s Dani Alves in recent weeks.
After many years of loyal service, Rafael will be denied the Old Trafford send off that he deserves.
It is a ruthless stance from van Gaal but he has shown that there is no room for sentimentality when it comes to his team selection, with Radamel Falcao and Angel di Maria suffering similar fates over the course of the campaign.