Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that his talismanic captain, Namanja Vidic, is now likely to be out until Christmas.
Vidic underwent knee surgery in September and had initially hoped to be back by mid-November but it nows seems that Ferguson is resigned to losing the Serbian international for a few more weeks yet.
"I think we're talking around December for Vidic," Ferguson told sport news reporters. "Maybe around Christmas time."
31-year old Vidic missed much of last season after injuring his knee against Basel in December and he was forced to watch as his side endured their first trophy-less season since 2004-05.
It is impossible to say whether or not Ferguson’s side would have won anything last season had Vidic been fit but they were only one point away from retaining the title. Had Vidic been available for more of the season, they would surely have seen out one or two of the soccer games that they really should have won towards the end of the year and they could have won the league at a canter.
Last season Ferguson called upon a number of deputies to step in to Vidic’s shoes, but none provided the reassurance that the big Serb brings. Having failed to bring in any extra cover in the summer, Ferguson will again be relying on the likes of Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones to partner Rio Ferdinand at the back.
Given the injury problems that all of United’s defensive options have experienced their squad is beginning to look a little thin. Whilst Vidic’s absence doesn’t seem to have cost Ferguson just yet, he will be praying that the former Spartak Moscow man comes back as soon as possible.
If Vidic doesn’t make it back in December then it’s just possible that the Old Trafford faithful might have to put up with another fruitless season in 2012-13.