Prior to Wednesday's Champions League fixture against Olympiakos, Manchester United manager David Moyes announced that captain Nemanja Vidic was a late scratch after suffering a groin injury.
Vidic's absence was a bit of a surprise at first, as most expected him to be in the starting 11. When the starting lineup was announced and Vidic's name was not on it, speculation began to circle. James Ducker of The Times originally reported Vidic was out with a groin injury:
Vidic injury is a groin problem #mufc— James Ducker (@DuckerTheTimes) March 19, 2014
Manchester United were already without Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans due to injury. Heading into a critical second-leg matchup at Old Trafford, this situation is far from ideal.
When asked about the severity of Vidic's injury, though, the Daily Mail reveals that Moyes did not offer much insight:
Moyes: 'Vidic's groin strain has forced a change at the back. We are getting forward players on pitch.'— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) March 19, 2014
Being short-handed is far from ideal an situation, as Olympiakos took the first matchup 2-0 in Greece. Manchester United will need a 3-0 victory to win the aggregate scoring and advance past the round of 16. If they are unable to, it will be the third straight year the English side have been eliminated earlier than they hoped.
This is just the latest bit of bad news for Vidic, whose form has been sporadic throughout this nightmare season at Old Trafford.
Vidic is also facing a two-match ban after earning a red card in this past weekend's 3-0 loss to Liverpool. The aging defender was called on a controversial slide on forward Daniel Sturridge, who arguably exaggerated the contact.
Nevertheless, Manchester United are going to have to get used to playing without their captain.
Under the embattled Moyes, United sit in seventh place in the Premier League standings and would need a complete miracle to make the Champions League next season. They are 12 points behind rival Manchester City for the fourth and final spot.
This will be the first time since the official advent of the Premier League that Manchester United finish outside the top three.
Given that they were the defending champions and returned a majority of the top-level players from last year's squad, Moyes' job status has come under massive speculation. Moyes is in his first season replacing the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, who retired at the end of 2012-13.
No matter Moyes' overall status, though, being without Vidic certainly isn't going to help.
Follow Tyler Conway on Twitter: