Manchester United centre-back Raphael Varane will miss the next month with a hamstring injury, having only just returned to action from a previous groin issue.
Varane missed games against Leicester, Atalanta and Liverpool because of his groin problem and United leaked 11 goals. His return to action was hailed during Saturday’s 3-0 win over Tottenham, but a fresh injury forced him off in the return fixture against La Dea.
The Frenchman lasted only 38 minutes of the eventual 2-2 draw in Bergamo on Tuesday night.
United assessed Varane on Wednesday and the club have confirmed that he will miss a month of action. That means Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could be without his best defender now until the start of December at the earliest.
Varane is set to miss five games in all competitions – against Manchester City, Watford, Villarreal, Chelsea and Arsenal – and would probably be a doubt for a sixth against Crystal Palace.
The 28-year-old has also been ruled out of France’s World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Finland later this month.
Varane was hailed as one of the signings of the summer when United landed the signature of the four-time Champions League winner for around £34m. His performances when fit have been testament to that but injuries have continued to stifle his early Red Devils career.
The winner from Varane’s absence is likely to be Eric Bailly. The Ivorian international has been a peripheral figure for most of the season, but he made only his second appearance of the season against Atalanta this week and sufficiently impressed.