Carrick has been sidelined for a number of weeks and the team have sorely missed his presence in midfield.
Fans were hopeful that Carrick would make a return for the final three games of the campaign but van Gaal confirmed his season is over.
Instead, United will help Carrick build his fitness up over the summer so he is fully prepared for the next term.
When asked about the situation, van Gaal said: ”Carrick is not available, it was more heavy than we thought. We tried everything but now we have to think about next season. He shall not play anymore this season, it’s better now to focus for him on next season and being fit to start.
“When you see the stats, it’s clear that he’s very important but that’s also because we have only right-sided holding midfielder. That’s what I am saying already in the whole of the season, that our selection is not balanced, and I want to restore that in the next transfer period. The life is not ending at 34, but for a professional football player, it’s close by. That’s why I have to handle again in that position.”
Van Gaal’s comments about his side not being balanced are interesting. It is clear United need some quality depth in the middle of the park given their reliance on Carrick and supporters may well see reinforcements come in over the summer.
If United are to challenge for domestic and European honours, they cannot have Wayne Rooney playing in midfield. As for Carrick, he must focus on getting himself fit and ready ahead of next season as he is vital part of the team.