Owen Hargreaves could have played his last game for Manchester United after manager Sir Alex Ferguson revealed the midfielder almost certainly will not be fit before the end of the season.
The England international has endured chronic injury problems since his arrival from Bayern Munich in 2007.
Although he was a member of United's Premier League and UEFA Champions League-winning squads during his debut campaign, he had to battled through a major tendinitis problem in both knees, which eventually required surgery.
Hargreaves managed only seconds on the field last term, during a late-season encounter at Sunderland and lasted just five minutes of a surprise start against Wolves at Old Trafford this year before pulling his hamstring.
Now the 30-year-old has sustained a shoulder injury which Ferguson does not believe he will recover from. Hargreaves' contract is due to expire in the summer and there must now be major question marks over him ever playing for United again.
"I don't see it at all," said Ferguson. "It is a shoulder injury. It has just brought his season to an end. He has just carried bad luck all the time he has been here. I am pretty sure he won't be playing this season.
"His contract is up at the end of the season but I don't know what is going to happen. United chief executive) David Gill had a discussion with the boy last week. But no more than that. We have to make a decision."
Hargreaves was never going to be in contention for tomorrow's FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City at Wembley.
Wayne Rooney and Jonny Evans are both missing too through suspension, whilst Ferguson revealed Scotland international Darren Fletcher is still a couple of weeks away from a return after being laid low by a chronic virus that has kept him out since the defeat at Liverpool on 6 March.
"Darren Fletcher is back in training now," said Ferguson. "He is not doing a lot but he has put the weight back on, which is good. He is a couple of weeks away."
Ferguson otherwise has a clean bill of health for one of the most significant derby clashes in recent memory, with midfielder Anderson pushing for a start after coming through a midweek reserve-team outing.
"He is much better now," said Ferguson. "We thought the Chelsea game would be too much for him because we knew what the pace was likely to be. Tomorrow should be a very exciting game. It is a derby match in London, which is unusual in itself. But we have great momentum at the moment. We are playing well and confidence is high and we are looking forward to it."