London: With Daley Blind joining a burgeoning Manchester United injury list, manager Louis van Gaal must feel like the fates are conspiring against him at the start of his reign at Old Trafford.
Netherlands midfielder Blind limped off in his country`s 6-0 win over Latvia in a Euro 2016 qualifier on Sunday with a knee injury to become the third United player to be crocked during the international break.
He joined goalkeeper David de Gea, who dislocated his finger training with Spain, and Michael Carrick, who withdrew from the England squad with a groin problem, as key players returning to Manchester facing a spell on the sidelines.
A scan later on Monday will reveal the extent of Blind`s injury, with fears he may have ruptured ligaments, and Van Gaal will be cursing his luck.
The Dutch coach has endured a difficult start at the 20-times English champions with defensive frailty undermining a team full of attacking talent.
His efforts to integrate players into new systems have continually been hampered by injuries to his back four and he currently has defenders Rafael, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Jonny Evans unavailable due to injury.
United have been forced to turn to untried teenagers Tyler Blackett and Patrick McNair to shore up a creaky defence and the loss of utility man Blind is another blow for a team desperately seeking continuity.
Van Gaal has used 37 players in three different formations and with the team seventh in the league on 16 points from 11 games he is yet to find a workable defensive system.
Fingers have been pointed at United`s training regime but three injuries in a week to players with their national squads would suggest it is more just a case of bad luck for Van Gaal at the moment.