Manchester United have suffered a huge blow with the news that Paul Scholes will be out for three months.
Scholes is not expected to return until February
The 32-year-old midfielder has been diagnosed with damaged knee ligaments and will have an operation on Thursday.
Scholes picked up the injury in training ahead of the Champions League win over Dynamo Kiev last week.
Fellow midfielder Michael Carrick is also sidelined although Owen Hargreaves has recently returned to the side following knee problems.
Carrick, who dislocated an elbow against Roma earlier this month, is set to return to training this week and could feature against Arsenal on Saturday.
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson also expects captain Gary Neville to be back in action soon.
The 32-year-old defender has not played for seven months but is poised to play for the reserves on Thursday.
Scholes played an influential role as United captured the Premier League title last season, although his side have been impressive in his absence so far, beating Dynamo Kiev 4-2 and Middlesbrough 4-1.
The former England midfielder will miss at least 13 Premier League games, including Saturday's visit to Arsenal and the trip to Liverpool on 16 December.
However, he should return in time for the Champions League knockout stage at the end of February.