FOOTBALL NEWS

23/12/2006 17:56, Report by Gemma Thompson

Carrick injury not serious

Sir Alex Ferguson has played down reports that Michael Carrick has suffered a serious ankle injury.

The United midfielder missed the Reds' 3-0 victory at Aston Villa with reports before the game suggesting he had sustained ankle ligament damage.

However, the United boss has dismissed those claims insisting Carrick, who will definitely miss the Boxing Day clash against Wigan at Old Trafford, could be fit to face Reading in United's final game of 2006.

"It's not serious," declared the Reds' manager. "Michael got a knock on the ankle, but hopefully he'll be okay for the Reading game."

Aside from Carrick, the Reds will also be without both Paul Scholes and Nemanja Vidic when they entertain Paul Jewell's side on Boxing Day.

The pair picked up their fifth cautions of the season and consequently must both serve immediate one game bans. John O'Shea, Darren Fletcher, Wes Brown and Mikael Silvestre are all in contention to take the trio's places.

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