Paul Pogba was playing in pain during his two comeback games against Watford and Newcastle last month.

The Manchester United midfielder was having surgery on Thursday to try to cure his long-standing foot and ankle injury and will now embark on a period of rehabilitation.

Forecasts indicate Pogba will be sidelined for up to six weeks. However, an extended period of rehabilitation is not being discounted, depending on how successful the operation is.

Manchester United's Paul Pogba played against Watford and Newcastle despite being injured

Manchester United's Paul Pogba played against Watford and Newcastle despite being injured

Manchester United’s Paul Pogba played against Watford and Newcastle despite being injured

The procedure was needed because the 26-year-old aggravated the injury that ruled him out for three months prior to his two-match comeback.

Having been out since September, the United star made his long-awaited return to action as a 64th-minute substitute in the 2-0 loss to Watford on December 22. He then played the second half of the Boxing Day win over Newcastle.

However, Sportsmail can reveal Pogba had already felt pain during the first outing at Vicarage Road.

Despite his discomfort, the France midfielder played just four days later, coming on as a replacement for Scott McTominay, who had suffered a knee injury whilst playing against Newcastle.

Pogba goes to ground holding his leg during the home encounter with Newcastle

Pogba goes to ground holding his leg during the home encounter with Newcastle

Pogba goes to ground holding his leg during the home encounter with Newcastle

Pogba has since reported the aggravation of the previous injury and a decision was made earlier this week for him to have surgery to clear up the problem once and for all.

The decision to let Pogba play twice in four days having just returned from a three-month lay-off raises questions over the way United have handled him in recent weeks.

Pogba’s commitment to the club has been under scrutiny for a number of months amid interest from some of Europe’s elite clubs. But his eagerness to prove he is devoted to United has proved costly.

Solskjaer admitted Pogba played through pain during the early weeks of the season

Solskjaer admitted Pogba played through pain during the early weeks of the season

Solskjaer admitted Pogba played through pain during the early weeks of the season

Despite feeling soreness in the previous game against Watford, sources claim Pogba did not hesitate to answer manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s call following McTominay’s injury.

Questions regarding his commitment have not gone unnoticed by Pogba and he wanted to show he is fully on board.

Solskjaer has also admitted Pogba played through the pain with the original injury during the early weeks of the season.

But having aggravated the problem, a collective decision for Pogba to have surgery was taken amid concerns the injury could cause him further problems later in his career.