Injury blow for Carrick
The midfielder, who was left out of England's World Cup squad this summer, appears to be a key part of Van Gaal's plans following the Dutchman's first press conference as United boss.
But he will have to wait longer than he would like to use the 32-year-old.
Van Gaal said: "Michael Carrick was injured a day or two ago so that's a big blow, because he is an experienced player."
As he stood up to leave the press conference, Van Gaal responded to a follow-up question by saying Carrick would be out for "a long time, too long", but gave no details of the injury.
Van Gaal's comments on the nature of "experience" painted him as an admirer of Carrick's mindset as well as his technical skills.
"You have to know that I'm not always convinced of the experience of players," he said.
"For example, a boy like Clarence Seedorf - he was 16 years old when I let him make his debut for Ajax but he was sometimes more experienced than a player of 30 years old.
"It's very important that we have experienced players but not only in age, not only in football but also experience as human being.
"My philosophy is not only the football player but also in total - and then there are not so many 'experienced' players."
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