Marouane Fellaini picked up a knock during Manchester United’s 4-0 defeat to Chelsea and will most likely miss the Manchester derby on Wednesday.
The Belgian was subjected to a nasty challenge from David Luiz during the latter stages of the first-half, leaving a sizeable gash on his lower thigh.
Fellaini managed to play on until half-time, but was swapped for Juan Mata during the break.
Fellaini’s injury appears to be no more than just a knock – a contact injury, if you will. Obviously painful, but unlikely to exert any long-term damage. That said, the Manchester derby – just three days away – will probably come too soon for the midfielder.
This opens up an opportunity for Jose Mourinho to explore alternate midfield options. Some might say – especially after today’s horror show – that the 53-year-old should have been doing this already, with the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin and Michael Carrick (even Bastian Schweinsteiger – remember him?) waiting for their chance to improve.
United’s 4-1 win over Fenerbahce last Thursday feels like a distant, almost irrelevant memory following the capitulation at Stamford Bridge, but it did produce a valuable pointer for the future in the form of Carrick’s partnership with Paul Pogba. It was, rather miraculously, the first time they played together, and their fusion of styles wreaked havoc. And with the Belgian sidelined, Mourinho might be tempted to deploy the pair against Man City on Wednesday.