Bad news for fans of smooth-passing central midfielders and/or long-running, apparently endless argument over whether a footballer is actually any good or not. Michael Carrick, the divisive distributor who sits at the base of Manchester United's midfield, will be out for about four weeks with a "muscle rupture":
Louis van Gaal tells #MUTV that Michael Carrick will miss around 4 weeks with a muscle rupture but Ashley Young is closer to full fitness.— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 30, 2015
Sounds painful. Four weeks rules him out of four or five Premier League games, including away trips to Swansea City his former club West Ham United. He will also miss the FA Cup fourth-round replay against Cambridge United, and any fifth-round game that might follow.
What this means for United's likely line-up is anybody's guess, though TBB is currently predicting that Daley Blind will slot into midfield. Perhaps we might also see Ander Herrera released from his bench-warming purgatory. That'd be nice.