Louis van Gaal is posed with yet another challenge as Ander Herrera and James Wilson pick up knocks.

Herrera suffered the blow in the 74th minute of United’s 2-1 win over West Ham United on Saturday. It was initially suspected to be a back injury, but scans revealed that what the Spaniard suffered from was a fractured rib.

The midfielder took to Facebook that evening to write: “Three very important points! I hope my back is fine soon. Thanks for your messages!”

A statement from United said: “Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera sustained a fractured rib during the match against West Ham United on Saturday. The Spaniard was substituted in the 74th minute and the club will continue to monitor his progress over the next few weeks.”

Herrera joins fellow midfielders Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini and Ashley Young in suffering injury problems. Meanwhile in defence Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Jesse Lingard are all struggling. Wayne Rooney is also suspended until November after receiving a red card against West Ham (that rules him out of three games). James Wilson also recently limped off United’s under-21 win over Tottenham Hotspur with a knock making the injury list 11 men long. The blow will be even more disappointing for Wilson, who, following the departure of Danny Welbeck to Arsenal and Rooney’s 3 match long suspension, would have been hopeful of making an impression in the first team upon getting a chance to.

Herrera has been performing well for his new club and has two goals and an assist to his name in four matches already. His injury comes in as a huge blow for the side. United will host Everton on Sunday before the international break begins and then face West Bromwich Albion, Chelsea and Manchester City. Van Gaal thus, has a huge task on his hands to ensure his club doesn’t end up in a position where recovery is impossible from. A finish outside of the top four would be considered ‘under achievement’ since United didn’t have any European distractions and invested heavily in the summer transfer window.