Manchester United have announced Raphael Varane will be out for a “few weeks” with a groin injury sustained playing for France.
The defender picked up the problem in Sunday’s Nations League final, which saw France overcome Spain with a 2-1 victory to win the second edition of the UEFA competition thanks to goals from Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe.
United confirmed the duration of the 28-year-old’s time on the sidelines in a statement, which read: “Raphael Varane sustained a groin muscle injury in the UEFA Nations League final and has commenced rehabilitation at the club.
“He will be out for a few weeks.”
The injury to Varane, who was signed from Real Madrid in the summer, comes at a bad time for United as they enter a decisive moment in their season with regard to challenging for the title.
Varane is expected to miss Saturday’s trip to Leicester in the Premier League, the midweek visit of Italian side Atalanta in the Champions League and potentially the meeting with Liverpool at Old Trafford on October 24.
To make matters worse for United, captain Harry Maguire is a fitness doubt for the first game back after the international break against his old side Leicester.
Maguire, who has partnered Varane in the heart of defence this season, has been out injured since the home defeat to Aston Villa in the league when he was taken off just after the hour mark.
Manchester United face a formidable set of fixtures in October and November as they look to keep pace in the Premier League and ensure Champions League qualification, with Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and the Manchester derby looming domestically.
October 16: Leicester (a) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm
October 20: Atalanta (h) – Champions League, kick-off 8pm
October 24: Liverpool (h) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports
October 30: Tottenham (a) – Premier League, kick-off 5.30pm, live on Sky Sports
November 2: Atalanta (a) – Champions League, kick-off 8pm
November 6: Man City (h) – Premier League, kick-off 12.30pm, live on Sky Sports
November 20: Watford (a) – Premier League, kick-off 3pm
November 23: Villarreal (a) – Champions League, kick-off 5.45pm
November 28: Chelsea (a) – Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports
November 30: Arsenal (h) – Premier League, kick-off 8pm