Wayne Rooney faces four weeks on the sidelines after the England striker needed hospital treatment on a nasty leg injury suffered during Manchester United's 3-2 win over Fulham on Saturday.
Rooney was stretchered off in the closing minutes at Old Trafford with blood pouring from a deep thigh gash sustained when the United star collided with Hugo Rodallega's boot as he tried to a block a shot from the Fulham striker.
Television pictures showed a severe cut down Rooney's right leg and United manager Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed the injury was serious enough to keep him out for at least a month.
"It was a very bad one. He has gone to hospital. It looks like he will be out for four weeks," Ferguson said.
Unless Rooney makes a quicker than expected recovery, the forward will miss United's Premier League games against Southampton, Wigan and Liverpool, as well as the club's opening Champions League group fixture.
The injury is also a blow for England manager Roy Hodgson, who will have to plan without Rooney for his side's opening two FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine next month.