Premier League leaders Manchester United are being made to sweat on Antonio Valencia’s hip injury as he is likely to miss the tie against West Ham on Wednesday.
The Ecuadorian winger was ruled out of the untidy 3-1 win against Harry Redknapp’s QPR on Saturday with a hip problem and remains on the sidelines.
And the competition to play in United’s first-team is so fierce that Valencia was forced to hide his injury from Sir Alex Ferguson in order to play – but was told to rest and recover when the manager found out.
“He had a hip injury,” the Scotsman told MUTV. “Just towards his back.
“He’s had a bit of pain there for the last couple of weeks but he’s been playing with it. That’s the type of guy he is. He never mentioned it and plays on.
“All of a sudden, you ask him and he says: ‘Yes, it’s sore.’
“It won’t be too long and he should be ready for maybe next week.”
Sam Allardyce leads his men to Old Trafford following their 3-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur last night.
And United could extend their lead to four points if chasers Manchester City fail to overcome Greater Manchester rivals Wigan Athletic on the same night.