Shinji Kagawa is being forced to remain on Manchester United’s injury table for at least another month after failing to recover from injury.
The 23-year-old playmaker limped off after a hard knock in the first-half against Braga last month – after a sumptuous cross left Javier Hernandez with a simple finish.
And his failure to recover from a knee problem will be a tough blow to take for the Japanese ace after making an impressive start to his debut season in English football.
“His progress has been quite slow actually,” Sir Alex Ferguson said. “He hasn’t started any outside work and, looking now, he may be another four weeks away.”
Kagawa left German champions Borussia Dortmund in the summer to join Old Trafford in a £12million deal and grabbed two goals in his first eight games.
But his return is now four weeks away, which could be a blessing in disguise as he will rejoin teammates during the hectic festive fixture period.
“Overall, he will probably be looking at six to seven weeks since the injury,” added Ferguson.
“The first job now is to get him back.”