Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani's injury-related absences could run longer than this weekend, Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick confirmed after his side's 4-1 derby loss to Manchester City.
United made the short trip to Etihad Stadium to take on their noisy neighbours on Sunday and finished the day 22 points off the league leaders as Riyad Mahrez ran rampant and Harry Maguire suffered another misfire.
Having needed a victory to stay near the front of the hunt for the top four and a Champions League berth, the Red Devils' loss was one of their toughest of the season, with them sorely missing the potential input of their veteran strikers up front.
What's the situation?
GOAL confirmed before the game that Ronaldo has picked up a knock and would not be included in Rangnick's matchday squad.
Cavani, who has been out of action due to a groin complaint over the last few weeks and is still not back to full fitness, was also expected to be absent.
But now their manager has revealed that the two could be set for lengthier lay-offs ahead of crucial fixtures in both the Premier League and Champions League with Tottenham and Atletico Madrid.
What was said?
Shortly before kickoff, Rangnick had confirmed the absences of the club's two top strikers.
"Edi trained well in the last three days but in the end he didn’t feel quite well enough to play," he told MUTV, "and Cristiano had some problems with his hip flexor on Friday."
Post-match, the German added that he was unsure on a potential return date, stating; "I don't know. I was hoping to have them available for this game. We have two important games coming up against Spurs and Atletico and we have to put our full focus on that.
"I have to believe my medical department, our doctor came to see me Friday morning before training and said Cristiano could not train because of some problems with his hip flexor and the same Saturday."