The former England international picked up the ailment in The Red Devils’ Champions League victory over Otelul Galati in early November, and the extent of the knock has been revealed by the Premier League champions.
“Michael has a thigh muscle injury and will be out for six weeks or so,” a spokesman for the Old Trafford club confirmed.
The knock is the latest injury for a player plagued by lengthy periods on the sidelines throughout his career, and the attacker is not expected to return to at least Boxing Day.
Meanwhile, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has been praised by Swansea’s Brendan Rodgers, as the Welsh side prepare to take on the Premier League champions this weekend.
“I want to be in this game a long time and Sir Alex epitomises that,” Rodgers told Mirror Football.
“Hunger, desire and motivation – he has all the things that you need to be successful over such a long period. He’s a one-off. Look at the way people think of him – he has earned all that respect.
“For me personally, Sir Alex is a genius – an absolute genius in football management. How he has managed so much change to create and build all the time.
“He’s a great advert for young managers and has been incredible and an inspiration for us all. He’s a role model for every single manager, not just in the Premier League but worldwide,” he concluded.
By Gareth McKnight