Manchester United have just lost one of their defenders for 10 weeks
Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has been hit with the curse of the dreaded metatarsal injury and is set to miss up to ten weeks as a result.
The former Fulham man hasn’t been having a great time of it of late. He missed out on Euro 2012 with a groin injury and it now looks as if he won’t be back in a United jersey until October at the earliest after undergoing surgery on a broken metatarsal suffered in training.
“He got an injury on the Wednesday and, straight away, we decided to have the operation so he’s out,” United boss Sir Alex Ferguson told MUTV.
“It’s difficult to say with a metatarsal but it could be 10 weeks.
“He’s not carrying any luck, the kid, but he’s young and we’ve done the right thing in getting it done immediately and getting him back on the road as quickly as we can.”
United are facing something of a mini-injury crisis amongst their defence as the new season approaches, as Nemanja Vidic is not yet fully fit and Jonny Evans is unlikely to have recovered fully from an ankle injury by the time the Red Devils play Everton in their Premier League opener.
Rio Ferdinand and Scott Wotton have been occupying the central defensive berths on the club’s pre-season tour of South Africa, but Ferdinand has been fairly injury-prone for a few years now and Wootton is inexperienced at the highest level.
United will be keen to get Smalling back as soon as possible but recovery periods for metatarsal injuries are notoriously hard to predict.
As far as most people are concerned, they didn’t even exist until David Beckham broke his metatarsal in the lead-up to the 2002 World Cup and there have been a spate of high profile sufferers since, such as Roy Keane, Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard.
United should have enough cover to cope with those temporary absences, but if any more injuries pop up between now and the start of the season, they might have to focus on other transfer targets apart from a certain Dutchman who’s occupying their attention at the moment.