Manchester United will have to do without defender Patrice Evra for three weeks due to a foot injury picked up in the humbling of Chelsea at the weekend.
It comes as a blow to the Frenchman who has just spent a month on the sidelines as a result of cumulative yellow cards and a four-match Football Association ban following his run-in with a groundsman at Stamford Bridge last season.
With United's packed fixture list he seems certain to miss another five matches while he recovers from the problem.
It means John O'Shea is likely to be restored to the starting line-up after performing admirably in Evra's absence.
Johnny Evans is also set to continue in the centre of defence with Rio Ferdinand needing another week of rest before he can be considered for a comeback from a back injury.
Ferdinand was due to play against Chelsea until a spasm suffered during the warm-up forced Sir Alex Ferguson to withdraw him from the game and put Evans in again.
United are not expected to consider the central defender for selection until the FA Cup game against Tottenham Hotspur a week on Saturday.
Wes Brown, meanwhile, is two weeks from a return following ankle surgery.