Manchester United have been dealt an injury blow, with Ryan Giggs ruled out for four weeks with a fractured arm.
Although Sir Alex Ferguson sounded optimistic immediately after United's draw at Aston Villa, the way Giggs held his right arm after the second-half collision with Steve Sidwell and the fact he left for an X-ray with his arm in a sling suggested bad news was on its way.
On Thursday afternoon it was announced that Giggs will miss both legs of the Champions League encounter with AC Milan, the Carling Cup final against Villa at Wembley on February 28, plus a sequence of key Premier League matches.
The only good news is that a four-week absence suggests the damage is relatively minor and Giggs should be back before the crunch encounter with Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 31.
It provides Ferguson with a double headache in terms of his wide players because Nani must now serve a three-match ban following his dismissal for a reckless tackle on Stiliyan Petrov.