David Moyes is hoping for a Christmas miracle to get Robin van Persie and Michael Carrick fit for Manchester United's packed festive fixture list.
The Premier League champions are likely to be without the striker and the midfielder again when they travel to Hull on Boxing Day before taking on Norwich 48 hours later and beginning 2014 at home to Tottenham.
But manager Moyes is hoping Van Persie, who has a groin injury, and Carrick, who has an Achilles problem, are available again soon.
He said: "There are always miracles at Christmas. Let's hope there could be one for Robin or Michael Carrick. You never know."
Carrick has not featured since the Nov. 10 win over Arsenal while Van Persie, who scored the winning goal against his former club, has only started once since then and has missed United’s last three games.
The 27.5-million pound signing from Everton has sat out United’s last five games and Moyes explained: “He had his operation on Saturday morning
"We just couldn't get him recovered from his back injury. We thought his back would be okay after 10 days but it wasn't getting any better, so we made a quick decision to get his wrist operated on [and] get it done quickly. We think it will be six weeks but there's a chance it will be shorter than that.
"His back problem was just going to take time. The back problem was a muscle injury, which wasn’t healing so it was maybe going to take longer than expected. That's why we decided to get the wrist done."