Manchester United have confirmed that Harry Maguire will miss the trip to Bayern Munich through injury, joining the already extensive list of players on the sidelines.
United's former captain hasn't seen much playing time this season as he continues to operate on the fringes of the first team, but his absence is yet another blow for Erik ten Hag as he attempts to navigate a difficult start to 2023/24.
The Red Devils have lost three of their first five Premier League games - their worst start since 2014 and the days of Louis van Gaal - and were comprehensively outplayed at Old Trafford against bogey team Brighton on Saturday, who have now won the club's last four top-flight meetings after their 3-1 win.
One bit of good news for United is that Mason Mount and Raphael Varane are back in training, but neither player will head to Munich as the club prepare to take on Bayern Munich in their first group stage game.
Kobbie Mainoo was also able to participate in some light running exercises, while deadline day loan Sofyan Amrabat continued to work on his individual programme.
United have been dealt rotten luck by injuries at the start of what was hoped would be a strong season for the club afterTen Hag’s promising first year in charge.
Mount managed only two competitive appearances following his £60m summer transfer from Chelsea, before a thigh injury ruled him out for several weeks. Meanwhile, Varane had to come off at half-time of the 3-2 comeback win over Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford almost a month ago.
Featuring against Bayern at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night has proven to be a step too far, but it raises the possibility that each could at least return by the weekend for the relatively short trip north to Burnley’s Turf Moor.
Home-grown teenager Mainoo had a really promising start to pre-season, impressing against Leeds and Lyon, before retaining his place when more senior players return to action and starting against both Arsenal and Real Madrid. But an ankle injury just a few minutes into the latter friendly derailed his progress. Light training is a good sign and his return to the pitch is expected in October.
As for Amrabat, United fans are still keenly awaiting his debut. Morocco’s 2022 World Cup hero withdrew from his country’s squad earlier this month following his United arrival.
For now at least, Ten Hag continues to be without a number of other players. Aaron Wan-Bissaka is the latest casualty after suffering a hamstring injury, with Luke Shaw, Tyrell Malacia, Amad Diallo and Tom Heaton all sidelined already. Jadon Sancho is training separately over an internal disciplinary issue, and Antony remains in Brazil amid the multiple allegations of assault made against him.