Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson admits losing Michael Carrick for six weeks with an elbow injury is a big blow.

"Losing Michael Carrick was a bad blow," Ferguson told Manchester United Radio. "I went to shake his hand at the end of the game on Tuesday and he couldn't lift his arm.

"I knew he was in pain, so we sent him for an X-ray and it confirmed it was a broken arm.

"It's a blow especially as his last three performances have been spot on.

"That was the Michael Carrick of last season. I thought he had a slow start to the campaign, but he was gathering momentum again. He was superb against Chelsea, Birmingham and Roma."