Manchester United are expecting him to be out “long-term”, but Paul Pogba has stepped up his recovery from a hamstring injury “Bruce Lee style”.
The France international has sat out the Red Devils’ last five fixtures after being forced off early in their Champions League opener against Basel.
Jose Mourinho moved quickly to rubbish suggestions that Pogba could be sidelined for around 12 weeks, but he has since conceded that the 24-year-old faces a lengthy lay-off.
The £89 million man is, however, working hard to cut his recovery time, with inspiration being taken from a legendary figure from the world of film as he hits the gym during the international break.
United have not missed Pogba too much, as they have emerged victorious in each game that he has been sidelined.
Mourinho has, however, conceded that his absence will be felt.
He said: "His injury is not one that I can have the hope like I can have with others.
"With long-term injuries, I don't speak about them, so Ibra, Pogba, Rojo and these players, I don't think about them."
United will have to cope without Pogba for some time yet, but they have invested heavily over recent years to ensure that they boast the squad depth to handle such setbacks.
One of those to have been drafted in, Nemanja Matic, remains confident that the Red Devils can contend with the absence of key men.
He said: “We know that he [Pogba] will be out for some time. He’s very important for us, he’s a great player, but I am sure that he will be ready soon.
“I am sure that he will recover well and he will be ready for this season to help us and to score many goals.
“Everyone knows that Paul is very important for Manchester United, but we also have great players to play instead of him."
United sit joint-top of the Premier League standings at present, alongside arch-rivals City, while positive progress has been made in the Champions League and Carabao Cup.
They will, however, face another stern test of their credentials when domestic action returns after the international break, with Mourinho’s men due at Anfield on October 14 to face old adversaries Liverpool.