Manchester United striker Robin Van Persie will be out for a month after sustaining the latest in a series of injuries this season.
The Dutchman strained his thigh against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Wednesday while taking the corner that Phil Jones scored the winning goal from and could now miss up to eight games including crucial games at home to Spurs on New Years Day and at Chelsea on January 19.
Van Persie has scored 10 goals so far this season but has been beset by injuries, the most recent one against Arsenal on November 10 which forced him to miss four games.
United manager David Moyes admitted it was a blow, saying: “It is unfortunate, because if you look at our record with Wayne and Robin in the team it is very good and we have not had them for a period.”
Wayne Rooney will be available for the Barclays Premier League game at Aston Villa on Sunday after serving a one match suspension against Newcastle United last Saturday.