Wayne Rooney is set for a spell on the sidelines at Manchester United after suffering a knee ligament injury that is expected to keep him out of action for at least six weeks.
The United captain has been in fine form in 2016 with seven goals in nine appearances in all competitions and his absence will hit a United strikeforce struggling to fire regularly.
Rooney did not travel with Louis van Gaal's squad for their Europa League clash with Midtjylland on Thursday and it has been reported that the injury could keep him out of action until April.
Van Gaal confirmed his injury at his pre-match news conference but was unable to provide a timescale on the 30-year-old's absence.
"It's difficult to say but he's injured in the game versus Sunderland and has a knee problem," said Van Gaal. "We have to wait and see how long that takes. I cannot say.
"Certainly in 2016, he has scored and that's why we had a good run in matches until Sunderland. But we have to cope with that. Everybody can be injured and also the captain can be injured."
Not only does his absence hit United's push for a top-four place in the Premier League, but is also a worry for England coach Roy Hodgson with Euro 2016 only four months away.