Shinji Kagawa is set to miss the Manchester derby, among other matches, as his absence extends beyond initial estimates.
The Japanese midfielder twisted his knee in Manchester United's Champions League victory over Braga at Old Trafford on 23 October and has been sidelined for the six subsequent matches. At the time of the injury, he was expected to be back in action around now - for the trip to Galatasaray or the home against QPR at the weekend - but Sir Alex Ferguson has regrettably had to rule that out.
"Shinji's progress has been quite slow actually," said the boss on Monday night.
"He's not started any outside work and we're looking at another four weeks away, which is disappointing. Originally we thought three or four weeks - now it looks like seven or eight weeks."
Kagawa was among United's best performers prior to being injured, opening his career in England in impressive style and winning the Reds' Player of the Month award for August.
Sir Alex's prediction of "another four weeks away" means that Kagawa is likely to miss the matches against West Ham (28 November), Reading (1 December), CFR Cluj (5 December) and Manchester City (9 December) as well as this week's games against Galatasaray and QPR.