Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini is set to be out for up to two months to recover from surgery on his wrist.
Fellaini, 26, sustained the problem in October, but delayed the operation until the end of the year after consultation with medical staff at his club and the Belgium national team.
In the interim period, he had been playing with a plaster cast on the injured wrist before undergoing an operation at the weekend.
The Belgium international is expected to return in time for the first leg of United's Champions League last 16 tie against Olympiakos on Feb. 25.
Fellaini has missed United’s last five games with a back injury, meaning they had less reason to delay the surgery on his wrist.
Manager David Moyes had hoped to have Fellaini available while fellow midfielder Michael Carrick, who has an Achilles problem, was sidelined.
While the England international could return soon, United enter the Christmas fixture list with only four central midfielders -- Tom Cleverley, the versatile Phil Jones, the 40-year-old Ryan Giggs, and the out-of-favour Anderson, who has not started a game since September.
Fellaini joined United for 27.5 million pounds from Everton on the final day of the summer transfer window but is yet to score for his new club. He has made 11 appearances, collecting a red card against Real Sociedad.