Henrikh Mkhitaryan admits an untimely injury to Paul Pogba makes life “very difficult” for Manchester United.
The France international was forced from the field during the Red Devils’ Champions League opener against Basel on September 12.
A hamstring complaint has left him on crutches as United wait to discover how long he will be missing for.
Whatever the timescale put on his recovery, Mkhitaryan concedes that the absence of a key man will be felt by Jose Mourinho’s Premier League title hopefuls.
The Armenian forward told SFR Sport: “It’s hard, because he’s a top player for us.
“It’s going to be very difficult, but the coach knows how to make up for that and we’re going to help him come back stronger.”
Mourinho stated after the Basel game that Pogba was likely to be sidelined for “a few weeks”.
It has since been suggested that he could sit out as many as 12 weeks, which would take him up to the start of the busy festive period.
United have been quick to shoot down such rumours, with Mourinho branding them “nonsense”, but there is still no word on when the 24-year-old is likely to come back into contention.
Mourinho told reporters following a 4-0 victory over Everton on Sunday: “I don’t know if it is 12 weeks or 12 days, honestly.
“So any comment, any new rumour, is totally wrong, because we do not know if it is 12 weeks or 12 days.
“The player was diagnosed initially after the match, because of the conditions of the muscle and the bleeding, the decision was one more week to wait and to see really clearly in the scans the dimension of the injury and nobody in this club spoke about 12 days or 12 weeks, not at all.
“It’s a muscular injury in the hamstring but we have a normal procedure and wait a few more days. So it’s completely nonsense information.”
United are next in action on Wednesday, when they start the defence of their EFL Cup crown with a home date against Burton Albion.
They then face a number of important fixtures over the coming weeks – which Pogba may be forced to sit out – with the Champions League group stage continuing, while the early pacesetters also have Premier League meetings with the likes of Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea on the horizon.