Belfast Telegraph

Ferguson confirms Nani absence

Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed star winger Nani will not return to action until after this month's international break.

The Manchester United star was forced out of his side's 3-1 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday after sustaining a deep gash in a tackle by Jamie Carragher. And Ferguson has confirmed Nani will not be fit for Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final with Arsenal, Tuesday's Champions League clash against Marseille or next Saturday's Premier League meeting with Bolton.

"We have managed to stitch the injury, which is good news," said Ferguson. "We need to guard against infection and swelling. It is difficult to say exactly when he will be ready to return but we won't get him back for the Bolton match next Saturday."

Ferguson also confirmed neither Rio Ferdinand nor Park Ji-sung, whose recoveries from calf and hamstring injuries respectively are taking longer than anticipated, are set for a comeback this weekend.

Antonio Valencia's return is also on hold, although the Ecuador star did feature in a behind-closed-doors game earlier this week and Ferguson does not feel it will be long before he is back in the fray.

"Antonio is difficult to assess because he has been out for such a long time," said Ferguson.

"He has been training very well and is taking part in a few practice matches between the players.

"It is deciding when we can put him into the cut and thrust of a game. There is a question mark over the timing but at some point, we are going to have to try it.

"It won't be tomorrow. Hopefully it will be quite soon."

It means Ferguson could have up to 10 senior players missing on Saturday, although skipper Nemanja Vidic is back from suspension and the United boss has vowed to play his strongest team.


From Belfast Telegraph