Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed he will be without John O'Shea for the foreseeable future as the Irishman struggles to overcome a thigh problem.
The 28-year-old has not featured for the Reds since the defeat at Chelsea at the beginning of November.
The Republic of Ireland international sustained the injury during his country's controversial World Cup play-off defeat to France last month. And, according to Sir Alex, he is nowhere near a return.
"John's injury is a long-term one unfortunately and there is no sign at all of a recovery at the moment," revealed the boss at his New Year's Eve press conference. "It's a big loss because he's such a versatile player.
"It's his first ever [long-term] injury for us. He tore his thigh on international duty but then the blood congealed, and we have to be careful of calcification in those situations.
"We just have to get him back, it doesn’t matter when, but it could be a couple of months yet."