Manchester United’s Michael Carrick injured on international duty

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Clubs always have to hold their breath during international weeks, but some more than others.

Manchester United often has most of its squad out on international duty, and that means more chances to lose someone with an injury. That’s exactly what’s happened this week.

Midfielder Michael Carrick went down during England’s 2-0 friendly loss to Spain, and is set for a long spell on the sidelines after suffering an ankle injury that England manager Roy Hodgson could involve ligament damage.

“He’s got a severely twisted ankle which normally means ligament damage. We won’t know that of course until he’s had an X-ray or a scan, but it doesn’t look good,” Hodgson said. Carrick has already been confirmed to be out of England’s next match, a friendly with France that may not even go ahead, but it’s his club future that Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal will be worried about.

That could leave the 34-year-old on the sidelines for months should he have some significant ligament damage.

Carrick has started in seven Premier League matches for United so far this year, and appeared in three others off the bench. Bastian Schweinsteiger will become even more of a focal point for the Red Devils in midfield now, and Morgan Schneiderlin should see significant time as Carrick’s replacement as well.

England is also suffering from injury troubles, with 16 regulars on the sidelines now including Carrick.