Downing required 12 stitches to a serious wound sustained in the third minute of last Saturday’s 4-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield.
The nature and location of the damage - which could yet require further treatment - means Downing won’t be able to train properly for several weeks, says the Daily Mail.
The outlook now is that Downing will be out of action for TEN weeks.
If he responds then he should be playing again by the spring. But any further set backs could threaten Downing involvement for the rest of the season.