MANCHESTER UNITED’S DEFENSIVE crisis is set to deepen with centre-back Rio Ferdinand facing two months on the sidelines.
The 33-year-old pulled up with a leg muscle complaint at the club’s Carrington training ground and will undergo scans to assess the extent of the problem.
Ferdinand will miss the Red Devils’ opening Premier League fixture, a trip to Goodison Park to face Everton on Monday.
United boss Alex Ferguson is facing up to a severe shortage of centre-halves, with Phil Jones nursing a back injury.
Chris Smalling is also still out after breaking his metatarsal towards the end of last season, while Jonny Evans is recovering from knee surgery.
Ferguson will be forced to reshuffle his backline to include Antonio Valencia at right-back instead of his customary position on the wing, while Michael Carrick could be forced to partner the returning Nemanja Vidic in the heart of the defence.