MANCHESTER UNITED midfielder Michael Carrick will be out for up to six week with an Achilles injury.
The 32-year-old played in United's 1-0 win over Arsenal on Sunday but withdrew yesterday from the England squad preparing for friendlies against Chile and Germany and his injury could keep him out until Christmas.
"We can confirm that Michael Carrick will be out for four to six weeks with an Achilles injury," the club said on their official Twitter account.
It is believed Carrick underwent a procedure yesterday where he had an injection to reduce the swelling around the affected area.
However, it's understands claims that he may require an operation are wide of the mark.
Carrick has appeared in 15 of United's 18 matches this season and his absence leaves manager David Moyes short in central midfield – an area which he tried to strengthen in the summer.
Six weeks on the sidelines would take Carrick up to the St Stephen's Day clash at Hull meaning he misses at least six Premier League matches, two Champions League ties – one away to Bayer Leverkusen – and United's Capital Cup quarter-final at Stoke.
However, if Carrick is out for the full duration is seems unlikely Moyes will throw him straight back into action in the midst of the busy festive programme and he may not be match-fit for the Hull game or the trip to Norwich two days later.
Carrick's United team-mate Danny Welbeck also pulled out of the England squad yesterday as he continues to battle with a knee injury which has kept him out since October 19.
His situation will continue to be managed by United but there is no suggestion yet he will require surgery.
And Sunday's match-winner Robin van Persie will miss Holland's friendlies against Japan and Colombia in order to rest the toe and groin problems that have troubled him for the past six weeks.
In addition, skipper Nemanja Vidic will need to be cleared by United's medical staff before he can return to duty after suffering concussion in an ugly collision with teammate David de Gea at the weekend.