By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Manchester United’s list of unavailable players reached double figures after Jesse Lingard limped out of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Bournemouth.
The England winger suffered what appeared to be a hamstring injury half an hour into the first half at Dean Court, and was immediately replaced by Brazilian youngster Andreas Pereira.
It was another blow to manager Louis van Gaal, who was already without eight injured players in addition to the suspended Bastian Schweinsteiger.
The United manager was forced to name an inexperienced back four for the away trip to the Cherries due to his lengthy injury list, with Guillermo Varela and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson handed full Premier League debuts either side of Paddy McNair and Danny Blind.
Van Gaal was unable to call upon six injured defenders – Chris Smalling, Matteo Darmian, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones, Antonio Valencia and Luke Shaw – as well as Ander Herrera and Wayne Rooney.
As revealed by Football Insider on Friday, United fear Wayne Rooney could be missing until the new year in another blow to the injury-plagued team.
United will have nine first-team players sidelined when they look to bounce back from their Champions League exit at Bournemouth on Saturday evening.
Van Gaal expects Smalling (groin), Darmian (hamstring) and Herrera (hamstring) to be back for the Premier League home match against Norwich on 19 December but is not hopeful about skipper Rooney or Phil Jones while Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia will be out well into 2016.
The growing fear for United is that Rooney, who has missed the team’s last two matches with an ankle injury, could also be sidelined for the back-to-back Stoke and Chelsea matches on 26 December and 28 December, ruling him out until 2016.