Jose Mourinho appears to have resisted promoting an outfield Manchester United youngster to the provisional squad for the Premier League visit of Chelsea.
Injuries have reduced the senior squad to 20 available players and 21-year-old Under-23 goalkeeper Kieran O'Hara arrived with first-teamers at The Lowry Hotel on Saturday night, where number two stopper Sergio Romero was not spotted.
Mourinho named 19-year-old midfielder Ethan Hamilton on the bench for the FA Cup fifth round win at Huddersfield last week and Ander Herrera succumbed to injury in the midweek Champions League draw with Sevilla. However, Paul Pogba returned to the matchday 18 for that tie, which left-back Luke Shaw was omitted from, and the second string have a Premier League International Cup game against Villarreal on Tuesday.
"Ander is out, I don't know the final diagnosis but I know he is out for a few weeks," Mourinho said on Friday. "I don't know how to say 'few', two, three, four, five or six, I don't know, but for a few weeks for sure.
"And coming back from injuries, nobody else."
United will be without Herrera, Daley Blind, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marouane Fellaini for Sunday's Old Trafford encounter with Antonio Conte's side.
Mourinho was reluctant to discuss his relationship with Conte but was grateful for the solidarity his former club showed him following the death of his father last year.
"For the past 10-15 years, Manchester United and Chelsea big matches, and is one more," Mourinho explained. "Different circumstances because many times were matches for the title and this time I think they have both, us and them, to agree that's not the case.
"But we play both for top four and is a big game independent of what is at stake. Last season they were fighting to be champions and we were not fighting to be top four and it can be a big game.
"To play against Chelsea will mean less and less and less with the years, so of course I left already a couple of years ago and next season three years ago, so step by step that feeling of I was the Chelsea manager or I was their manager for them I think disappears.
"So the real meaning of it is that two of the best teams in England, two of the biggest clubs playing one match.
"I have a good relation with the board, I don't forget how nice they were to me in a difficult period with departure of my father, they show me in that moment they feel me as a friend that did his best for the club and always respects the club.
"Even now after I would say maybe eight starts, something like that, he has a lot to learn but since the first moment he was learning that is the way to perform. And of course he will have bad matches and make mistakes and be on the bench and not be selected but I know when I want him to play I know the kind of mentality, the kind of player I am developing, I know the qualities that will make him a really good player."
Goalkeepers: David de Gea, Joel Pereira, Kieran O'Hara
Defenders: Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian, Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly, Ashley Young, Luke Shaw
Midfielders: Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay, Michael Carrick, Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard
Forwards: Juan Mata, Alexis Sanchez, Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial