Vidic will miss at least the next eight weeks after surgery as he joins Phil Jones and Chris Smalling on the injured list, leaving Ferguson with Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans as his only remaining fit centre-halves.
Ferdinand’s importance to
The 33 year-old has not played for his country since the 2-2 draw with Switzerland in June last year and is understood to be open to a return, but Ferguson will want him to concentrate on club football, with his defensive options so short.
Vidic only returned for United last month after missing the final five months of last season with a ruptured cruciate knee ligament.
The 30 year-old was rested as a precaution for United’s game at Liverpool on Sunday, but scans revealed a more serious problem and following surgery he is not expected to return until the end of November.
The latest setback raises concerns about his long-term fitness after another
injury to his knee. He will miss United’s next three
A club statement read: “Nemanja Vidic has had a meniscus operation on his right knee and will be out for around eight weeks. Sir Alex, as a precautionary measure, rested Vidic at the weekend, after he complained of tightness in his knee. Further medical investigation revealed the underlying problem. The central defender was operated on this week.”
Jones and Smalling are not expected to return for a month and a fortnight respectively and Ferguson could play 21-year-old Scott Wootton against Newcastle in Wednesday night's Capital One Cup tie to keep Ferdinand fit for the visit of Tottenham Hotspur this weekend. Michael Carrick is another alternative.
Merseyside Police has confirmed no action will be taken against the supporters who were guilty of unsavoury chanting after Liverpool’s clash with Manchester United on Sunday.
A minority of Manchester United fans in the Anfield Road end began chanting “Always the victims, it’s never your fault” and “Murderers” at the final whistle in response to two Liverpool supporters who allegedly made Munich aeroplane gestures.
Liverpool’s Hillsborough tribute had been largely respected during the game, in which United recorded a contentious 2-1 victory before the scenes at the end marred an emotionally charged afternoon.
Social networking sites were flooded with responses to the songs and Margaret Aspinall, a member of the Hillsborough Families Support Group, had called for fans who chanted to be served with lifetime bans. But police have no plans to review CCTV footage.