Manchester United have confirmed that Marouane Fellaini faces a spell on the sidelines after undergoing knee surgery on Saturday.
The Belgian midfielder was forced to withdraw having appeared as a substitute in last week's 2-0 defeat against Tottenham at Wembley.
It has since been revealed that surgery was required on his left knee to remove a displaced fragment of lateral meniscus.
United boss Jose Mourinho has insisted that Fellaini will not be absent for the remainder of the season, although he predicted a potential March return date.
"He had surgery this morning," said the Portuguese coach. "I don't want to be very specific. I prefer the doctor give you some information officially that we can put on our website. But it is not the end of the season. Not at all.
"It's a small intervention in his external meniscus and I want to believe that, by the end of the March, he can be back.
"If he is back by the end of March, I hope we have a big April and a big May and we are still to play in more than one competition."
Mourinho had previously joked that Fellaini should "sign the contract and shut up" after it emerged that he could look to run down his current deal with the club.
The 30-year-old, according to ESPN, turned down a new contract in September and has been able to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with clubs outside England since last month.