Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck could be sidelined for another five weeks.
The England striker has had an on-going cartilage problem in his knee that has led to him miss United's last six matches, and he could now face surgery which will see him out for at least a month.
Currently the United technical staff and doctors are deciding on whether or not to send Welbeck for a knee operation to fix the problem.
Welbeck is having treatment in the hope he can avoid surgery, but it seems unlikely he will be unable to avoid keyhole surgery to rectify the problem.
The 22-year-old has had two previous knee operations, but surgeons decided not to remove the whole cartilage because of his young age.
However, it is understood that the remaining meniscus is now causing inflammation in the joint whenever he tries to run.
United are already without midfielder Michael Carrick, who is out of action until Christmas with an Achilles injury while fellow midfielder Marouane Fellaini could also be out for up to 10 weeks once he has surgery on wrist ligaments.