Vidic out for season - Ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Manchester United skipper Nemanja Vidic will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury.
Vidic suffered the injury during the first half of United's Champions League defeat to Basle on Wednesday and his agent said on Thursday the defender had ruptured his cruciate ligament.
"Nemanja is out for the season," confirmed Ferguson on Friday. "It is bad news. He will be a loss."
Ferguson admitted he feared the worst when Vidic first went down following a tangle of legs with Marco Streller. He hoped it was just medial ligament damage and his captain would only be missing for a couple of weeks.
Unfortunately, the worst case has now unfolded.
"I thought it was a bad one when I saw it," said Ferguson. "He sees the specialist on Monday to map out the progress of when he has the operation. It won't be immediate because we have to let the swelling come down. It is a bit of a blow."
It merely adds injury to the insult of ending up in the Europa League, which Ferguson described as a "punishment" on Wednesday night. Those comments did not go down well with UEFA president Michel Platini, who made his irritation known. However, Ferguson has attempted to diffuse the row this morning.
"It is a good competition, a strong competition, you only have to see some of the teams that are left in it," Ferguson said.
"The point I made about it being a punishment was only in the sense of for 20 years, this club has only thought about the Champions League. We have just thought about winning that European Cup.
"The punishment is the big disappointment of not challenging for it this year, having been in three finals in the last four years. It was not a slight against the Europa League. It is a competition we want to win."