London: Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic has been sidelined for minimum eight weeks after surgery on his right knee, and the latest setback has once again landed Old Trafford boss Sir Alex Ferguson in defensive crisis.
Only Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans from the recognized central defenders are now available to Ferguson for their Capital One Cup tie against Newcastle United on Wednesday.
Vidic`s injury is to the same knee in which he damaged cruciate ligaments last December in a Champions League group game against Basel, causing him to miss the remainder of the season, and this may raise fears regarding the long-term prognosis for the 30-year-old.
Vidic was not in the match-day squad for Sunday`s 2-1 win at Liverpool as a precautionary measure after he complained of tightness in the knee.
“Nemanja Vidic has had a meniscus operation on his right knee and will be out for around eight weeks,” the club said in an official statement.
“Sir Alex, as a precautionary measure, rested Vidic at the weekend, after he complained of tightness in his knee; however, further medical investigation revealed the underlying problem. The central defender was operated on this week and will be sidelined for about eight weeks,” the statement added.
That will rule him out of three Champions League matches and seven Premier League games, including those with Chelsea and Arsenal
Ferdinand has to manage a back condition and he left Anfield limping while Evans returned recently from injury and took a knock in the same game.
Phil Jones is also ruled out for the next eight weeks or so due to a knee injury, while Chris Smalling is yet to resume training after breaking a metatarsal.