Fellaini was forced to pull out of Belgium’s squad before the international break with the injury, which is as of yet unspecified.
However, van Gaal confirmed, to his surprise, that Fellaini will also be sidelined.
“That’s a surprise because I thought he was recovered after the international break, but still he is injured. And that’s a big blow because Rooney is ill, so we have a big problem, I think.”
Fellaini impressed under van Gaal last season but he hasn’t seen much game time this time around. Van Gaal has used the Belgian mainly as a plan B this term, which has worked on occasion but often leads to United playing long balls. Belgium manager Marc Wilmots recently urged Fellaini to leave United in the January transfer window and there is a sense of inevitably about the player’s exit due to the unattractive football the team plays when he is on the pitch and the injuries he seems to be picking up.