Old Trafford club face defensive dilemma for key clashes.
Manchester United are facing up to a defensive dilemma today despite winning the opening Premier League fixture 2-1 against West Brom.
Winger Ashley Young’s strike 10 minutes from time sealed all three points but it was not all good news for Sir Alex Ferguson’s team.
Before kickoff at The Hawthorns, the champions announced that Brazilian full-back Rafael da Silva had dislocated his shoulder and would be out for the next 10 weeks.
The defensive problems deepened during the match with their two experienced central defenders Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand forced off with injuries in the second half.
Captain Vidic struggled for most of the game with a knee injury before coming off in the 52nd minute and is expected to be out for at least two weeks.
Ferdinand faces a longer spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury which forced him off 15 minutes from time and is likely to be out for six weeks.
The injuries will rule the duo out of key clashes against Tottenham and Arsenal, with Ferdinand also missing England’s Euro 2012 qualifiers against Wales and Bulgaria.
Another concern is the form of new goalkeeper David de Gea, who was at fault for the Baggies equaliser yesterday.
But his boss is backing the the 20-year-old to show his class, despite an aerial bombardment from West Brom in the second half.
“David’s concentration cost him the goal, it was a slack goal to lose,” Ferguson told Sky Sports.
“He took a battering in the second half. It was a real welcome to English football. He was targeted.
“You saw the abuse he got, but he had to withstand it and it was a good experience for him.
“It is always a learning process when goalkeepers come here from Europe. It was the same when Peter Schmeichel joined us.
“His first away game was at Wimbledon and they gave him a torrid time. David is only 20 and he will come though.
“I just gave him a pat on the back and said ‘welcome to England’.
“We’ve had a rough time with injuries,” he added.
“Young Rafa has done his shoulder in training on Friday and will be out for 10 weeks, he’s probably going to have an operation.
“Rio will be out for six weeks. Vida will have checks on Monday, we don’t know if it’s just a nerve or something, but he could be out for a couple of weeks.”