By Steven Oldham, Sports Correspondent
Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic will miss the rest of the season with knee ligament damage after being injured in the midweek 2-1 defeat at FC Basel.
The Serbian international defender twisted his knee whilst battling with the home side’s Marco Streller as United were unceremoniously knocked out of the Champion’s League.
This news caps a miserable couple of weeks for the Old Trafford side who have been knocked out of both the Carling Cup and Europe’s premier club competition by supposedly lesser opposition.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said: “Nemanja is out for the season. It’s bad news. He’s a big loss.”
Vidic will now see a specialist on Monday to start his treatment once his swollen knee has subsided.
He was taken off the field on a stretcher on Wednesday, visibly in pain and he joins a number of his teammates in the physio room.
Vidic – who only returned from injury in October – joins the likes of Tom Cleverley, Michael Owen and Rafael on the sidelines.
His absence again gives players including Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans – who replaced him in Switzerland – a chance to establish themselves in the United backline.
Vidic will now miss United’s first season in the rebranded Europa League after finishing third in their group behind Portuguese side Benfica and FC Basel.