Rio Ferdinand Out Six Weeks, Nemanja Vidic Out Two With Injuries

The Manchester United defense is already in shambles. Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand both were subbed out in United's opening match of the season with injuries and after the match Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed that Ferdinand would miss six weeks with a hamstring injury, while Vidic will be out two weeks with a calf injury. Just one match into the season and the Red Devils may be without their entire starting defense.

Ferguson was already dealing with a mini-crisis in his defense before the match. Patrice Evra had to miss the season opener against West Brom because of a knee injury he suffered in the Community Shield. Rafael's injury was more serious as he dislocated his shoulder in training and would be forced to miss 10 weeks. So before they could even kick off the season, Manchester United was without half of their starting defense. Now Vidic and Ferdinand are out, putting their entire starting defense in doubt.

Vidic was initially injured only 20 minutes into the match. He came up in a bit of a limp and Ferguson immediately got Jonny Evans up and warming up. It looked like the substitution would be made right away, but Vidic managed to finish the half and then even went out to start the second half. After chasing a loose ball down and clearing it away in the 52nd minute though, Vidic turned to the bench and asked for a substitute then limped his way to the bench with what we now know is a calf injury.

Not long after Vidic went out, Ferdinand came up lame. His limp was noticeably worse than Vidic's and he came off almost immediately. Besides being out six weeks to Vidic's two, Ferdinand's status is much more worrisome considering his age and recent injury history.

For the next two weeks at least, the Red Devils are sure to be without Vidic, Ferdinand and Rafael. It is possible that Evra cam return next week, but that is still a question. It appears as if the youngsters Fabio, Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans and new boy Phil Jones will be called into crucial action earlier than expected now.

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