Jose Mourinho has categorised Paul Pogba's hamstring injury as "long term", enhancing fears that Manchester United will remain without their influential midfielder until after the November worldwide break.
The severity of the hamstring issue that caused the 24-year-old to limp off early in the club's Champions League return against Basel has been shrouded in mystery.
Mourinho has so far refused to put a time frame on Pogba's lay-off, but admits Pogba will be sidelined for months rather than weeks.
But Mourinho bracketed his £89million record signing with cruciate ligament casualties Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo among the players who are now out of his thoughts.
Looking ahead to tomorrow's game against Crystal Palace, Mourinho highlighted the importance of having strong squad mentality.
United have made an impressive start to the new campaign, but their 4-1 win at CSKA Moscow in the Champions League in midweek was followed by a draining return flight that saw United land in Manchester in the early morning of yesterday.
"Long term injuries I don't speak about them - Ibra [Zlatan Ibrahimovic], Pogba and [Marcos] Rojo".
Pogba injured his hamstring during United's Champions League group opener against Basel and the club are believed be consulting with Finnish muscle fix specialist Dr Sakari Orava on the most suitable recovery for their record signing.
"I cannot have hope, like with Jones or Valencia who I can see in training and hope for a positive answer", added the Portuguese.