The extracts on this page are taken from selected national newspapers. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United.
Valencia on crutches with Vidic out
Manchester United have been dealt another blow after captain Nemanja Vidic was ruled out for eight weeks following a knee operation as Antonio Valencia left the club’s Carrington training ground on crutches. Valencia’s right foot is in a protective boot while United’s medical staff continue to assess the injury he suffered in Sunday’s victory at Liverpool. The winger is understood to have been hurt winning the penalty which decided the game at Anfield, even though Liverpool’s Glen Johnson accused him of diving. Without Vidic, United’s win percentage in the Premier League drops by nearly 10 per cent. They have won 74 per cent with their captain and 65 per cent without him. They are also 30 per cent more likely to concede a goal in a game. The loss of Vidic leaves United with only two first-choice centre-halves in Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans, with Chris Smalling and Phil Jones recovering from surgery. It will also raise questions over the condition of Vidic’s right knee, as it is the same joint the 30-year-old injured in a Champions League tie with Basel last December, keeping him out for nine months. Sportsmail revealed then that the severity of Vidic’s injury — he damaged medial and lateral ligaments as well as rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament — was rare. It appears that the Serb has suffered complications five games into his comeback.
All the papers go big on Vidic’s injury, with The Times commenting on Sir Alex’s central defensive headache.
The Sun reckons Wayne Rooney is back in contention for tonight’s Capital One Cup game against Newcastle, but suggests he’s no longer guaranteed a place in the starting line-up.
And writing in the Mirror, Oliver Holt says England boss Roy Hodgson should bring back Rio Ferdinand following John Terry’s international retirement.