Varane set for spell on the sidelines
Erik ten Hag has ruled Raphael Varane out of Manchester United's next six games, following his injury at Chelsea last Saturday.
The France international centre-back looked very upset when he left the pitch an hour into the game at Stamford Bridge, after overstretching in an attempt to challenge the Blues' striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Varane, who won the World Cup in 2018, was clearly concerned about the possibility of missing United matches and FIFA's upcoming tournament in Qatar, with the opening set of fixtures for all 32 sides now less than a month away.
While the 29-year-old's issue may not be as bad as first feared, he is not available for Thursday's Europa League clash with Sheriff Tiraspol and will not feature for United again prior to the domestic break.
“Rapha Varane isn't in the squad,” Ten Hag told reporters. “He will be out, certainly until the World Cup so he will not play in this block [of games] for Man United.”
Erik could not confirm yet whether or not Varane would be involved for Didier Deschamps's side in their defence of the trophy.
France have been drawn alongside Australia, Denmark and Tunisia in Group D.
"I think so, but the prognosis we have to wait. We have to see how it develops, how the rehab will develop."
Varane's absence opens the door to a possible return for Harry Maguire, who hasn't played for United since the reverse fixture in Chisinau last month.
Our club captain picked up a thigh problem while on international duty for England but has now returned to group training and could add to Ten Hag's defensive options if he comes through Wednesday afternoon's session.
After the Sheriff fixture, United host West Ham on Sunday in a 16:15 GMT kick-off.
We then have a trip to Spain to play Real Sociedad next week, before a double-header with Aston Villa and then Fulham away, in our last game before the World Cup starts.