Manchester United FC captain Nemanja Vidić will not play again this season after rupturing a cruciate ligament in his right knee.
The former Serbia defender was injured during the first half of the 2-1 loss at FC Basel 1893 on Wednesday that ended United's UEFA Champions League hopes. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson has now confirmed that Vidić, 30 – who returned in October after two months out with a calf problem – faces a long spell on the sidelines.
"We thought it was a bad one," said Sir Alex. "He's out for the season. It's not unexpected but it's still bad news. He'll see a specialist on Monday to work out the progress of when he has the operation. It won't be immediate as we have to let the swelling come down."
United are already dealing with a casualty list that includes defenders Rafael and Fabio, midfielders Anderson and Tom Cleverley, and forwards Javier Hernández, Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen. Five points adrift of Manchester City FC in their search for a 20th English title, United, like their neighbours, enter the UEFA Europa League round of 32 draw next Friday for ties on 16 and 23 February.
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