By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Bastian Schweinsteiger will be sidelined until at least March after being granted holiday leave by Louis van Gaal.
The German midfielder has been out with a knee injury he sustained in United’s FA Cup win over Sheffield United on 9 January.
Schweinsteiger was initially expected to return in the middle of last month but the injury has proved to be worse than initially feared.
Football Insider revealed last week that Schweinsteiger might not play this month in a major blow to Van Gaal and his team.
The 31-year-old’s comeback has been put back further after the United manager delivered an update on his fitness at his media briefing on Friday.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 12, 2016
The midfielder has already missed five matches with the injury and is expected to be absent for the Chelsea match at Stamford Bridge on Sunday as well as the Europa League double-header against Midtjylland.
The 31-year-old is in a race against time to face Arsenal at Old Trafford on 28 February.
Asked if Schweinsteiger will be back in the next fortnight, Van Gaal said: “I cannot say Bastian Schweinsteiger is returning in two weeks. I have given him a holiday.”