Pogba injured his thigh in training with the French national side and the damage to Manchester United will be significant, with the midfielder not expected to return until next year
Pogba was forced to pull out of training while on duty with national side France, limping out of a session alongside the team doctor.
It was later revealed the midfielder had suffered a thigh injury to his right leg, with the 28-year-old subsequently pulling out of the squad for last week’s international break.
Solskjaer has now learnt the full extent of the injury, which will come as another major blow to his hopes of turning the Red Devils’ form around.
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Pogba has been a key player for Solskjaer this season, featuring in 13 games in the top-flight and in the Champions League.
His season started off with a bang, notching four assists in the hammering of Leeds United on the opening day, but has taken a downturn from there.
The low point came in the humiliating defeat to Liverpool at Old Trafford, which saw him sent off just 15 minutes after coming on.
Pogba was ruled out of the visit to Vicarage Road anyway as he serves the final game of that suspension.
But it could be February before he gets a chance to make up for his actions against fierce rivals Liverpool.
That is because Solskjaer has now confirmed that the midfielder’s thigh injury will rule him out for up to 12 weeks.
In better news for United fans, the Norwegian stated that that is merely the worst-case estimate and Pogba could be back just after Christmas.
“I would say months rather than weeks. It was a disappointing injury for Paul. I’m not a doctor of course and we can’t say how quickly it will heal,” he said.
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“Sometimes you hope for six or seven weeks and the worst-case scenario is 10, 11, 12 weeks with muscle injuries like this.
“One thing I’m sure of is that Paul is determined to come back and give his best when he comes back and he’s already started that recovery with his own big mentality to come back stronger.
“Hopefully just after Christmas we can see him.”
Even that optimistic return date means that Pogba will out until next year, missing 11 games in the process.
With Solskjaer fighting to save his reign at Old Trafford amid United’s awful run of form, the update on Pogba’s injury will be unwelcome news.
He will already be without Raphael Varane and Edinson Cavani, who are themselves injured, for the clash with the Hornets.
Watford are currently fourth from bottom, making Saturday’s game a prime opportunity for united to begin to recover their spiralling form.
Pogba’s extended absence means that Solskjaer will be picking his midfield from a group of Fred, Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic, Bruno Fernandes and Donny van de Beek.