Manchester United defender Eric Bailly has been dealt a further injury set back which will see him ruled out until after the New Year.
The 23-year-old has not featured for the Red Devils since November 5, during his side's 1-0 defeat against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
During the reverse at the hands of the Blues the Ivory Coast international did manage to complete 90 minutes, however was then ruled out of the north west giants' 4-1 hammering of Newcastle United in their next outing.
Bailly has subsequently missed United's last six fixtures across all competitions due to his current groin injury, however it was hoped the centre-back could be in line for his return ahead of the upcoming festive fixture pile up.
But, according to The Sun, the defender has since aggravated the issue during his rehabilitation and now faces a further six to eight weeks on the sidelines, meaning he will miss out on Jose Mourinho's side's crucial cluster of games before and shortly after the turn of the year.
The Red Devils' boss has already had to juggle his defensive line this term, following Phil Jones' hamstring problem he picked up while representing England on international duty last month.
During last season Bailly was a regular within Man Utd's staring lineup, making 39 appearances across all competitions and missing out only briefly through injury late in 2016.
However, the Ivorian has suffered a more stop-start term this time around, managing to record just 10 outings, with separate unavailable spells across both October and November as well as now December and January.