Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick and Phil Jones were absent from training ahead of Manchester United’s Europa League clash with St Etienne.
Old Trafford plays host to the first leg of the last-32 tie on Thursday, with Jose Mourinho’s men looking to take a comfortable advantage to France next week.
Rooney, Carrick and Jones were conspicuous by their absence from the 23-man squad at the Aon Training Complex on Wednesday morning.
Jones has been absent since going off in the Premier League match with Hull due to a foot complaint, but Rooney and Carrick were on the bench against Watford. Mourinho will be quizzed about the trio at the pre-match conference at 1.30pm.
Jose Mourinho has overlooked Luke Shaw for a fourth successive match, raising fresh questions over the Manchester United left-back’s future.
A double leg break brought last season to a premature – and horrific – end for the 21-year-old, who has struggled to make his mark under Mourinho.
Niggling injuries on the comeback trail have disrupted his campaign but, despite being fit since mid-January, Shaw has made just one appearance against Wigan in the FA Cup fourth round.
The left-back was not involved in the subsequent three squads and Mourinho confirmed the England international will not feature against St Etienne on Thursday in the Europa League last-32 first leg.
“He’s not playing tomorrow,” Mourinho said. “Because my team is playing well and I am happy with my back four, and I’m going to repeat (Antonio) Valencia, (Eric) Bailly, (Chris) Smalling, (Daley) Blind.”
Mourinho is having to juggle the Europa League matches with St Etienne either side of Sunday’s trip to Blackburn in the FA Cup, while also keeping in mind the upcoming trip to Wembley for the EFL Cup final against Southampton.
Such pressures meant the Portuguese has decided against risking Michael Carrick and captain Wayne Rooney on Thursday, confirming the duo would be reduced to a watching brief along with the injured Phil Jones.
“Phil is still recovering from the injury,” Mourinho said. “Wayne and Carrick I don’t want to say ‘injuries’ because I don’t think we are speaking about injuries.
“We are speaking about little muscular problems and protection of these problems
“So all three are out tomorrow and apart from that everything is right.”