London: Manchester United suffered an early setback in their preparations for the start of the English Premier League season when midfielder Michael Carrick was ruled out for 10-12 weeks.
Carrick, 32, was one of the top performers for United last season, when they finished a lowly seventh.
The former Tottenham Hotspur man, who has made 31 appearances for England, will be out for 10-12 weeks after damaging ligaments in his ankle.
"Michael Carrick has had surgery on a left ankle ligament injury this morning. He will be out for 10-12 weeks," Manchester United said in a statement.
Newly appointed manager Louis van Gaal, in his first press conference Thursday, said it was a big blow for United.
"Always it`s very important we have experienced players, but not only in age, not only in football experience, but also experience as a human being," Van Gaal, who took the Netherlands to third place in the World Cup, said.