Michael Carrick has suffered a cruel injury blow by injuring his right ankle ligaments in what was an innocuous incident during Manchester United’s loss on penalties against Sunderland.
The 30-year-old stepped onto the artificial grass the side of the pitch and his ankle twisted awkwardly in an injury that immediately forced him to be replaced by Phil Jones.
It is terrible news for Carrick as he had only just returned from surgery on his left ankle and was on his way back to full fitness.
Now that this setback has happened, Carrick will have to wait even longer to get back to his best.
Carrick may not have played much this season but he is still by far and out our best midfielder in much the same fashion as Nemanja Vidic is still our best defender even if he doesn’t play very often.
This year, Carrick hasn’t been as effective as he was last year but it was hoped that he could return from injury to cement his place back in the team. However, this setback means that isn’t likely to happen until the end of February.
With Carrick sidelined, United have been left with only three natural central midfielders in Fellaini, Fletcher and Cleverley as Anderson has left the club on loan. Given that all three have had injury problems of their own this year, it leaves United in a midfield crisis and it makes the necessity for a January central midfield arrival even more obvious.