Cleverley was impressive before sustaining injuries. Picture - Reuters.

Manchester United have been dealt a blow after it emerged that the injury to Tom Cleverley was worse than expected, leaving him out till after Christmas.

Cleverley, 22, suffered an ankle ligament injury in Man United's 1-0 win over Everton last month in which he was making his comeback after a foot injury sustained against Bolton.

He was expected to make a swift return, but manager Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that his injury is worse than initially expected.

It is pretty long term, said Ferguson. (He will be out until) Christmas time. It is unfortunate. It is worse than we thought.

When he first came off against Everton he reported it as just tightness, with a bit of pain.

We have done scans again and the injury has recurred. We will have to give him a break.