Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick will miss up to the first three months of manager Louis van Gaal’s reign with an ankle injury.
Van Gaal mentioned at his unveiling press conference that Carrick had suffered an injury and would be out for "a long time, too long." And the club later confirmed on Twitter: "Michael Carrick has had surgery this morning on his left ankle ligaments and will be out for 10-12 weeks."
Carrick will also miss United’s pre-season tour of the United States, where they will play friendlies against the Los Angeles Galaxy, Roma, Inter Milan and Real Madrid. News of his absence emerged when van Gaal, unprompted, announced: "Michael Carrick was injured a day or two ago so that’s a big blow, because he is an experienced player."
The midfielder was left out of England’s World Cup squad this summer, but appears to be a key part of van Gaal’s plans, with the Holland World Cup coach’s comments on the nature of "experience" painting him as an admirer of Carrick’s mindset as well as his technical skills. "You have to know that I’m not always convinced of the experience of players," he said.
"For example, a boy like Clarence Seedorf – he was 16 years old when I let him make his debut for Ajax, but he was sometimes more experienced than a player of 30 years old. It’s very important that we have experienced players, but not only in age, not only in football, but also experience as human beings. My philosophy is not only the football player but also in total – and then there are not so many ‘experienced’ players."
Carrick later Tweeted: "Well I’ve had better days….very frustrating but my race to get fit has started."
The post was accompanied by a link to a photograph looking down Carrick’s hospital bed to show his left ankle in plaster.