Manchester United have been dealt a fresh injury blow with confirmation that centre-back Lisandro Martinez is to undergo further surgery on a foot injury.
Martinez first fractured his metatarsal during April’s UEFA Europa League quarter-final against Sevilla, but after an operation he returned for pre-season.
The Argentinian World Cup winner started each of United's opening four Premier League matches, before suffering a recurrence of the problem at Arsenal last month.
“I can confirm, yeah. Licha Martinez will have to undergo surgery,” head coach Erik ten Hag revealed in a press conference prior to Tuesday's UEFA Champions League group match against Galatasaray.
“That’s really sad, disappointing news. He has to go through the same process and I’m really sorry for him. He has to be strong. He will fight back, I’m sure. He is a character.
“There is still a long season ahead and he will be fit. We have to do our job, to get ourselves in the right position, so he can contribute, and add quality, when he returns.
“The squad will miss him. As you know, we have more injuries, so we always have to deal with it as a squad. As a club, we have to deal with injuries."
So far this season, 16 United players have already been ruled out through injury or illness, and Martinez was one of five defenders missing for Saturday’s home defeat to Crystal Palace.
Left-backs Luke Shaw, Sergio Reguilon and Tyrell Malacia are out of action, along with right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, with Ten Hag using midfielder Sofyan Amrabat as an emergency left-back against Palace.