Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed his likely back four for the opening Premier League game against Everton.
The Reds travel to Merseyside on August 20 to kick off the 2012/13 season, but it’s a game that will come too soon for injured centre-backs Chris Smalling who is out with a metatarsal injury and Jonny Evans, who is recovering from an ankle injury.
That would not necessarily pose much of a problem but Fabio has been sent on a season-long loan to Queens Park Rangers and his twin brother Rafael is on Olympic duty with Brazil.
Manchester United kick off the European leg of their pre-season tour with a three-game trip that begins in Oslo this Sunday with a match against Norwegian side Valerenga.
And Ferguson said: “Chris Smalling is out for 10 weeks with his metatarsal operation and Jonny Evans is still just in light training.
“They’re big losses at the moment and they will miss the start of the season.
“We do have Phil Jones, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra, though. That will be the back four on tour. Hopefully we don’t get any more injuries as it would leave me a bit short.”
News of Vidic’s return is particularly pleasing for United fans, who haven’t seen the Reds skipper in action since he injured cruciate knee ligaments against FC Basel on 7 December 2011.