Marouane Fellaini will be out of action until the end of March after undergoing surgery on Saturday morning.
The Belgian midfielder came on for just over seven minutes for Manchester United in their midweek defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, beaten 2-0 in a woeful performance. Fellaini’s brief introduction and then exit was one of many frustrating parts of the evening.
He had been recovering from a knee problem that had kept him unavailable for Jose Mourinho for some time, suffering the injury on international duty with Belgium.
“He had surgery this morning,” Mourinho told reporters at his post-match press conference after Man United’s 2-0 win against Huddersfield Town.
“I don’t want to be very specific, I would prefer the doctor to give you some information officially.
“It’s not the end of his season, not at all,” Mourinho assured. “It’s a small intervention in his external meniscus and I want to believe that by the end of March he can be back.
“And if he can be back by the end of March, I hope we have a big April and a big May still to play in more than one competition.”
It’s a major frustration for Mourinho. While United fans don’t adore Fellaini, with their side still in the FA Cup after a 4-0 Fourth Round win against Yeovil Town last weekend, second in the Premier League and set to face Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages, Mourinho needs options.
It’s a busy time of the season and a vital period in determining how much success United have this campaign having lifted two major trophies in the last (EFL Cup and UEFA Europa League). Fellaini isn’t the club’s best midfielder, but he’s an option, and a valuable one which they no longer have.