As Manchester United crashed out of the Champions League versus VfL Wolfsburg on Tuesday evening, The Red Devils were facing a double blow, with the injuries sustained by both Matteo Darmian and Chris Smalling during the 90 mins at the Volkswagen Arena.
Italian right-back Darmian suffered a suspected hamstring injury during the first half versus Wolfsburg, who started at left-back against the German side. Wolfsburg progressed thanks to a brace from Brazilian defender Naldo.
To compound matters, United's most solid performer this term Chris Smalling, picked up what looked like a groin injury and after continuing to play on, may have done more damage.
United now in full-on defensive crisis
The injuries deepen United's defensive woes, with Louis van Gaal now having to deal without not just top European competition, but a squad hanging together, by barely a ligament.
Injuries to Smalling and Darmian mean that for the trip to Dean Court and Bournemouth this coming weekend, United may be without almost every first choice full and centre-back, with Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw, Antonio Valencia and Phil Jones on the sidelines. Only Daley Blind remains fit in United's first XI ranks.
Louis van Gaal faces yet more decisions
As documented, with a trip to the south coast on Saturday evening, the beleaguered Van Gaal may have a lack of options to select from. With Morgan Schneiderlin injured and Bastian Schweinsteiger facing a ban also, it really is anyone's guess what side he may be able to select come this weekend.
The issue, this time around, defensively is that Smalling has played every minute of this Premier League campaign. That has contributed to United keeping nine clean sheets in 15 games, with the England international's improvement immeasurable, in the last two seasons.
Both Darmian and Smalling will be sent for scans on Wednesday, but it will perhaps only be on Friday in Louis van Gaal's press conference, when the extent of any damage may be discovered, with the festive period fast approaching for Manchester United.