Manchester United and Ivory Coast will miss the service if their injury-prone defender Eric Bailly after he was involved in a bad collision with Chelsea’s Kovacic.
This means the United defender will miss the final two games of the season and this summer’s Africa Cup of Nations after sustaining a knee injury in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea.
Apart from missing United’s final two Premier League matches against Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City, the defender will play no part in the African Nations with Ivory Coast which is due to start on June 21 and end on July 19.
Scans on Monday revealed that Bailly had suffered damage to the medial ligament in his right knee and he will now undergo a period of rehabilitation.
Depending on how his recovery goes, Bailly may be able to return in time for the start of pre-season training in early July.
The Ivory Coast international, 25, injured his medial ligament in a collision with Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic during the second half. Bailly was starting his first Premier League game since 3 February.
Ivory Coast is one of the favourites for the tournament and has been drawn in a group that also contains Morocco, South Africa and Namibia with Morrocco seeing by many as the only threat to them in the group.
Bailly is one of several players facing an uncertain future at Old Trafford this summer as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer prepares to overhaul the squad.
The 25-year-old was unfortunate in the collision with Kovacic, who ended up being thrust into the United defender following a foul by Ander Herrera. Bailly’s right leg got tangled in the incident and he was in clear discomfort before being taken off.