London - David Moyes hopes that Marouane Fellaini will be back for Manchester United within six weeks after confirming on Monday the Belgian has had a wrist operation.
The £27.5million star had surgery this weekend as it became clear that a back complaint would keep him out anyway.
The injury to his left wrist is said to have been due to the tendon becoming detached from the bone.
The midfielder, 26, has not featured since the defeat by his old club Everton on December 4.
‘We think he will be out probably six weeks but there is a chance it could be shorter,’ said United boss Moyes. ‘He had his operation on Saturday morning. We couldn’t get him to recover from his back problem which was a muscle injury that wasn’t healing. We thought his back would be OK after 10 days but it wasn’t getting better.’
The return of Michael Carrick will be a plus over Christmas when the champions face Hull, Norwich and Tottenham.
The England midfielder has missed the last nine games following minor surgery on an achilles.
Asked if Carrick or striker Robin van Persie, who is out with a groin injury, could feature over the next three games, Moyes said: ‘There are always miracles at Christmas so let’s hope there is one for Robin van Persie and Michael Carrick.’ Nemanja Vidic (calf strain) and Danny Welbeck (knee) should be fit to face Hull on Boxing Day.