Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has ruled Michael Carrick, Phil Jones and Wayne Rooney out of Thursday’s Europa League clash with St Etienne.
Jones is still struggling with an injury picked up against Hull City and has missed the games against Leicester and Watford.
Rooney, meanwhile, also missed the win over Leicester but returned to the bench for Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Watford, although he will not be risked against the Ligue 1 side.
“Wayne and Michael are – I don’t want to say injures, because I don’t think we are talking about injuries,” Mourinho told a pre-match press conference.
“We are speaking about little muscular problem and protection of these problems.
“So all three are out tomorrow and, apart from that, everything is alright.”
Rooney has found it difficult to force his way into Mourinho’s team this season but has made five appearances in the Europa League this season, scoring twice.
Carrick has been a key figure for United this season but has missed the last two matches with Paul Pogba dropping deeper to partner Ander Herrera in his absence.
Despite the absence of Jones, Mourinho has several options in defence with Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo all in contention for a spot in the heart of the back four.
However, Luke Shaw will again miss out with Mourinho also confirming the full back was not in the squad for the visit of the French side.
The Portuguese also says he is happy with his defence currently, with the club on a run of four consecutive clean sheets, and is likely to stick with the same back four.
“My team is playing well, I’m happy with my back four,” he added.
“[Antonio] Valencia, [Eric Bailly, [Chris] Smalling and Daley Blind.”
United take on St Etienne having lost just one of their last 19 games in all competitions this season.
The French side, meanwhile, are currently fifth in Ligue 1, just a point behind Lyon, and topped Europa League Group C, going unbeaten over the six group games.