FOOTBALL NEWS

30/12/2009 08:37, Report by Steve Bartram

Berba fears allayed

Sir Alex Ferguson has dismissed talk that striker Dimitar Berbatov will require an operation on a knee injury.

Recent newspaper reports had suggested that the Bulgarian could be out for up to three months but, while conceding that Berbatov has been handled with care in recent weeks, the United manager sought to allay fears over the striker's future availability.

"It's not the case," he told the media ahead of United's clash with Wigan. "He’s had a niggle but he’s improved and came through the full game the other night (at Hull).

"We’ve been treating him quite carefully in terms of the number of games he’s been playing, because we know we need him in the second half of the season. But on Sunday he was fine and hopefully it’s gone now."

The Bulgarian completed 90 minutes for only the second time in two months in Sunday's win at the KC Stadium, and bagged his fifth goal of a stop-start season to clinch the Reds' 3-1 win over the Tigers.

Berba's 2009/10 season

Dimitar Berbatov has made 21 appearances so far this season. Here's how they break down...

Started and completed 90 minutes
7 games, 4 goals

Started and was substituted
7 games, 1 goal 

Used as a substitute
7 games, 0 goals

Total:
21 appearances, 5 goals

All five goal have been right-footed, scored within the penalty area during Premier League matches.

*Stats correct at 29/12/2009

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