Manchester United set off for Malaysia and the first stop on a four-match tour of the Far East without their number one draw, two new signings and Nemanja Vidic.
It is thought both Vidic, who has still not fully shrugged off an ankle injury sustained on international duty with Serbia last month, and Antonio Valencia will link up with their team-mates for two matches in Germany and the end of their trip.
Winger Gabriel Oberton could also be in Munich too for matches against Boca Juniors on July 29 and either Bayern or AC Milan at the Allianz Arena 24 hours later, but the absence of Park Ji-sung from the 22-man squad that flew out of Manchester on Thursday lunchtime was the biggest surprise of all.
The South Korean missed out on a similar tour two years ago after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury, although he would not have played anyway because it clashed with the Asia Cup.
The reason for Park's absence this time around is not clear and will probably remain so until the United party land in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.
It would be a major blow if he was ruled out of the entire tour though as Park's home city of Seoul is the third stop on another eagerly-awaited visit, that also takes in trips to Indonesia and Hangzhou in China.
The support United have commanded in South Korea since Park moved to the Red Devils from PSV Eindhoven is astonishing and club officials would have been keen to maintain the momentum.