Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has confirmed that he expects Eric Bailly to miss up to three months' worth of action as he requires surgery on an ankle injury.
The Ivory Coast international made a strong start to the season and formed a good partnership with Phil Jones.
But he has not featured since the start of November due to a problematic ankle and that now looks set to ruin much of the remainder of his season.
Mourinho revealed on Thursday that the centre-back's injury was serious and would likely require surgery, something the Portuguese has now been able to confirm.
Speaking to MUTV ahead of the Red Devils' trip to West Brom on Sunday, Mourinho said: "He goes to surgery, the decision is made.
"I don't say [he's out] for the rest of the season, but it's for the next two or three months."
Speaking to #MUTV , Jose Mourinho has provided an update on Eric Bailly's injury: "He goes to surgery, the decision is made. I don't say [he's out] for the rest of the season but it's for the next two or three months." pic.twitter.com/bsNF33o9So-- Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 15, 2017
Despite the blow of losing Bailly for such a prolonged period, Mourinho is at least able to rely on a number of other options, with Chris Smalling, Jones, Victor Lindelof, Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo and Axel Tuanzebe all capable of playing at centre-back.