Manchester United might be reeling from two straight defeats in the English Premier League, and Louis Van Gaal might have to now find a way to get his team back on track and further unscathed until the end of the English Premier League season without their skipper Wayne Rooney.
Rooney limped off the field towards the end of United's 3-0 loss at Everton on Saturday, with the England international clearly troubled by his knee. Van Gaal confirmed the injury after the game, saying they will have to wait, see and hope the problem is not too severe.
"Yes, Rooney was injured," the Dutchman told MUTV. "He had a shot on his knee, so we have to wait and see how heavy [serious] it is."
Initial reports suggested the problem would not be too serious, but according to the Daily Mirror, it might be a lot more serious than previously expected.
The report says Manchester United are now fearful of some ligament damage to the knee after Rooney clashed with his own teammate Daley Blind, damage which could rule him out of action for up to a month.
If that is the case then it is the end of the season for Rooney, with just four matches remaining in the Premier League campaign. Manchester United are on course for a top-four finish, despite the losses to Everton and Chelsea, as Liverpool continue to stumble and fumble in their own attempts to catch up.
Liverpool's loss to Hull City on Tuesday means United hold a big eight-point lead over their rivals with just four games to go. While Rooney has been an indispensable force in Manchester United's recent resurgence, Van Gaal will be confident of keeping that eight-point lead until the end and at least ensuring they finish fourth.
Ideally the Manchester United manager would like to take one of the top three places, with fourth forcing the team to play a qualifier to make it into the Champions League group stages.
However, considering Manchester United only finished seventh last season under David Moyes, anything from fourth place will be seen as a big sign of progress, even if finishing above neighbours Manchester City, who are currently two points ahead, would be the icing on the cake.