Manchester United will be without Darren Fletcher for Saturday's game against Blackburn Rovers after the midfielder failed to recover from an ankle injury.
Fletcher sat out the UEFA Champions League win over Rangers on Wednesday with the problem and it was hoped he would be fit for the weekend.
However, the Scotland captain has not regained fitness in time and he will not be available to Sir Alex Ferguson for the visit of Blackburn.
The 26-year-old midfielder is not expected to be back in contention until the visit of title rivals Arsenal on December 13, ruling him out of next week's trip to Blackpool, the Carling Cup quarter-final against West Ham and United's final Champions League group game against Valencia, although the Red Devils have already qualified.
"We should have Darren available for the Arsenal and Chelsea games," said Ferguson, who also has another concern in midfield after Paul Scholes sustained a groin strain at Rangers and he may not be risked.
Brazil international Anderson, though, could earn a recall to the starting line-up after returning as a substitute at Ibrox in midweek.
United will also welcome back Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic in the centre of defence after the duo were rested for the Champions League win over Rangers, which guaranteed progression to the knock-out phase.
"We hope Paul is all right to play but he is a doubt with a groin injury," added the United boss.
"Obviously Owen Hargreaves, Antonio Valencia and Michael Owen are all still out, but the rest are fine."
Wayne Rooney should therefore make his first start on home soil for nearly two months, having kept his nerve to score the late, match-winning penalty at Rangers.
The 25-year-old star has now converted two spot-kicks this season but has still not scored in open play since last March.
"Playing is the name of the game for him now," said Ferguson.
"He was very rusty on Wednesday but when he took his penalty kick, he came to life.
"He played really well in that last few minutes, I think he enjoyed it. It was a fantastic penalty, and hopefully that is a step forward for him."
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