Manchester United have been dealt a further injury blow with the news that Ander Herrera sustained a fractured rib against West Ham.
The Spaniard came off in the second half of Saturday's 2-1 win over the Hammers at Old Trafford with a suspected back problem, but United have now revealed that the 24-year-old's injury is more serious than hoped, and will have to be monitored "over the next few weeks."
INJURY UPDATE: Ander Herrera sustained a fractured rib vs West Ham. We'll continue to monitor his progress over the next few weeks. #mufc
- Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 30, 2014
The former Athletic Bilbao player, who became manager Louis van Gaal's first signing when he joined for 28.8 million pounds in June, voiced his optimism that he would not be out for long.
A real shame this injury, but now's not the time to feel sorry for myself. I'm already working to be back as soon as possible!
- Ander Herrera (@AnderHerrera) September 30, 2014
Vice-captain Darren Fletcher is the logical replacement for Herrera while he recovers from his latest setback, after the Spaniard missed three games in August with an ankle injury.
United were without nine injured players for the West Ham game while captain Wayne Rooney will miss their next three matches after being sent off for kicking out at Stewart Downing.
However, defender Tyler Blackett, who served a one-match ban then, is available again for Sunday's home match against Everton.
Michael Carrick is progressing faster than expected on his return from an ankle injury, manager Van Gaal has said, although he might not be available until after the international break.
Phil Jones, who has a hamstring problem, is another who should make his comeback in October.