Manchester United defender Chris Smalling will be out of action for ten weeks, according to the BBC.
The centre back missed the final games of last season with a groin problem; an injury which also ruled him out of this summers European Championships and the Olympics.
The latest injury, believed to be a broken metatarsal, means he will miss Manchester United’s crucial fixture at Anfield against rivals Liverpool on September 23rd, though he may be fit to return against Tottenham at Old Trafford a week later.
Although Smalling was absent from United’s pre-season tour of South Africa, manager Sir Alex Ferguson had expected him to be fit for the start of the campaign. He is already fretting over the fitness of Jonny Evans, who is doubtful with an ankle injury, and there is still no guarantee that Vidic will be fit enough to make the opening game of the new season against Everton, having missed the majority of last season with a major knee injury.
Rio Ferdinand and Phil Jones would be United’s only available centrebacks should Vidic fail to rediscover match fitness.
The good news however is that Manchester United look set to make a formal offer for Everton defender Leighton Baines as Sir Alex Ferguson looks to shore up a defence which capitulated so badly in the dying weeks of last season’s Premier League, as they let slip an 8 point lead over neighbors Manchester City to eventually lose their title.
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