Manchester United defender Gabriel Heinze could be out for the season with cruciate knee ligament damage.

The 27-year-old Argentinian was injured in a tackle with Jan Kromkamp during the first half of United’s Champions League tie with Villarreal on Wednesday.

Heinze’s injury means he faces a race against time to be fit for Argentina’s World Cup campaign in Germany next year.

The news is the yet another setback for United, who currently are without Gary Neville, Wes Brown, Louis Saha, Quinton Fortune, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and skipper Roy Keane.