Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed Rio Ferdinand is set to miss next week's showdown with Chelsea.
Ferdinand and fellow central defender Jonny Evans will be absent for Saturday's game at Wigan as well as next week's showdown with the ailing champions.
England captain Ferdinand is still sidelined with a calf injury he picked up in the warm-up before the defeat at Wolves, while fellow central defender Evans is sidelined with an ankle problem, but Ferguson is hopeful the pair will return in time for next Sunday's clash at Liverpool.
"Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans will be available for next week, and that means the Liverpool game," said Ferguson.
One boost for United is the news that striker Michael Owen could return for Saturday's trip to Wigan.
Owen is back in training after recovering from a groin injury he picked up in training earlier this month.
It was feared the injury could sideline Owen for a lengthy period, but the former Liverpool man has made a speedy recovery and could figure at the DW Stadium.
"Michael is back training and could be available tomorrow," added Ferguson.
Owen was one of a number of players to miss the midweek UEFA Champions League draw at Marseille and Ferguson has revealed Ryan Giggs is the only one of the injured stars who could be available for the trip to Wigan.
"The situation has not changed very much," added Ferguson. "We are trying to get Ryan fit."
Midfield trio Anderson, Park Ji-sung and Antonio Valencia are unlikely to return until next month.
"It is difficult to assess Antonio Valencia because he is doing very well, he is in contact training now," revealed Ferguson.
"He has been taking part in all the sessions, so it is just that decision to play him in terms of his own confidence after such a long time out. It could be two weeks. We are hopeful.
"Park Ji-sung will be another two weeks and Anderson three, depending on how his progress goes because he is over in Portugal at the moment."