A wretched 24 hours for Manchester United appears to have got even worse after Nemanja Vidic's agent claimed the defender ruptured cruciate knee ligaments in Basle on Wednesday night.
Vidic immediately signalled he was in trouble after falling awkwardly following a tangle of legs with Marco Streller during the first-half of the shock 2-1 defeat. Sir Alex Ferguson said after the game his captain had suffered ligament damage, but hoped the damage was not too serious.
However, speaking to the Italian website www.calciomercato.com, Vidic's agent Silvano Martina delivered some devastating news. "Unfortunately he has suffered a ruptured cruciate ligament," said Martina.
In response to a follow-up question asking if the player would be out for several months, the agent said: "Unfortunately so, yes."
If the worst is confirmed by Ferguson, it would inevitably rule Vidic out for the remainder of the campaign.
The Serbian's return from a calf problem sustained in the opening-day win at West Brom was cited by many as the moment United's defensive difficulties began to ease.
Despite repeated suggestions the player would leave Old Trafford, Vidic remains one of the key figures in Ferguson's squad and his absence would place additional focus on the younger players such as Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.
It would certainly cause Ferguson a major headache given his other defensive stalwart, Rio Ferdinand, is rarely able to string games together due to a series of well-publicised muscular problems.