Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford may not play until the end of October after deciding to have surgery on a shoulder injury.
Rashford, 23, had a scan on Tuesday after being hampered by the problem in the latter half of the 2020-21 season.
It was decided the damage was so severe that rest alone would not repair it and United hoped the England striker could have the operation immediately.
However, the surgeon is not available until the end of July.
It is anticipated Rashford will be out for 12 weeks, which will be a blow to United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans for the start of the new campaign.
The news emerged on the day Rashford’s England team-mate Jadon Sancho had a medical as his £73m move to United from Borussia Dortmund edged closer.
Rashford scored 11 goals in 37 Premier League appearances last season but did not make a significant impact for England at Euro 2020.
He made five appearances for his country in the tournament but was only on the pitch for a total of 84 minutes then missed a penalty in the shootout as Italy beat Gareth Southgate’s side on penalties in the final.
Rashford – together with Sancho and Bukayo Saka, who also missed their spot-kicks – received racial abuse on social media after the game.
A mural of Rashford in Withington, Manchester, was also defaced.
The damage has since been repaired and on Tuesday hundreds of people gathered for an anti-racism demonstration there. People have left hundreds of messages of support and solidarity at the mural.
On Monday, Rashford issued a statement apologising for his penalty miss but said he “will never apologise for who I am”.
The statement added: “I’ve had a difficult season, I think that’s been clear for everyone to see and I probably went into that final with a lack of confidence.”