Louis van Gaal has been dealt an early blow as Manchester United manager with news that Michael Carrick has undergone surgery on an ankle ligament injury and will miss the start of the 2014/15 season.
Carrick underwent an operation on his left ankle on Thursday morning having suffered the injury in training earlier this week. He will be out for between 10 and 12 weeks.
The United boss says it's "very important that we have experienced players" and with the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic departing at the end of last season and Ryan Giggs retiring from playing to take on his role as assistant manager, the absence of 32-year-old Carrick could be keenly felt within the squad.
“Michael was injured the day before and that's a blow for me because he's experienced,” said the Dutchman. “It's very important we have experienced players.”
Carrick tweeted a picture he took from his hospital bed with his left foot in plaster, with the message: "Well I've had better days... very frustrating but my race to get fit has started."
Van Gaal will lead his squad to the United States on Friday for Tour 2014, presented by Aon, and will assess the players at his disposal during training sessions and four matches against LA Galaxy, AS Roma, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.