The announcement that defender Lisandro Martinez will miss at least eight weeks due to knee ligament damage delivered a setback to Manchester United's prospects of making it into the Champions League for the next season.
The World Cup winner of Argentina had not played for the majority of the season due to a foot injury, which he only recently recovered from. Martinez's influence was noticeable, nevertheless, given United's recent improvement in performance. The 26-year-old was substituted out of Sunday's 3-0 victory over West Ham due to a buckling right knee sustained during a collision with Vladimir Coufal during a play for possession.
"Lisandro Martinez has sustained an injury to the medial collateral ligament in his knee and is expected to be out of action for at least eight weeks," United said in a statement.
"We all wish Licha a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him back on the pitch later in the season."
Martinez will now likely miss the majority of the remaining games of the season, while he might be available for the final seven Premier League games and the FA Cup finals.
United are sixth in the Premier League, six points adrift of Tottenham and eight behind fourth-placed Aston Villa, who they face on Sunday.