Paul Pogba is not expected to return to action with Manchester United until February, when the midfielder is set to be out for another four or five weeks.
The 28-year-old has been sidelined since November after sustaining a thigh injury while on international duty with France.
Having begun his rehab in Dubai, Pogba returned to the UK at the end of December, but boss Ralph Rangnick warned he was still some distance from returning to full training.
What was said?
Rangnick initially hoped Pogba would be ready to resume training at the start of January, but has now been given a new recovery schedule.
Speaking ahead of Manchester United’s FA Cup third-round clash against Aston Villa, the German revealed that he does not expect to see Pogba in a red shirt anytime soon.
“As far as I know, a week ago I was told, it will be at least another four or five weeks before he is ready to train again,” Rangnick told the club’s website.
“I saw him this morning before the training session, he was in the locker room and I hope he’ll be back as soon as possible.
“Right now, he’s not been part of the training set, and even if he comes back anytime, for two, three, four weeks, it’s going to take some time.
“Being fit in training is one thing, but on the other hand, he has to be fit for the match and to compete in the Premier League or the Champions League and that will take some time.”
Pogba entered the final six months of his contract at Old Trafford and is now able to negotiate terms with foreign clubs for a free transfer at the end of the season.
He has not played for United since November 2 and has made only seven Premier League appearances this season.
His agent, Mino Raiola, had hinted in November that Pogba could leave Old Trafford, with the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus linked with moves for the Frenchman.
Rangnick, who is only set to manage United this season and remain as a consultant after that, revealed last month that he would not try to persuade Pogba to stay if he was not fully committed to the club.