Manchester United's England
defender Chris Smalling could be sidelined for up to 10 weeks
after foot surgery, manager Sir Alex Ferguson said on Saturday.
The 22-year-old, who did not travel on the club's pre-season
tour to South Africa, missed the end of last season, Euro 2012
and an Olympic call-up with a groin injury.
He was expected to be ready for the new Premier League
campaign but injured his toe in training on Wednesday and the
surgery on the broken metatarsal means he will miss the start of
"He got an injury on the Wednesday and, straight away, we
decided to have the operation so he's out," Ferguson told the
club's television channel MUTV. "It's difficult to say with a
metatarsal but it could be 10 weeks.
"He's not carrying any luck, the kid, but he's young and
we've done the right thing in getting it done immediately and
getting him back on the road as quickly as we can."
Smalling is expected to compete with Nemanja Vidic, Jonny
Evans, Rio Ferdinand and Phil Jones for a centre-back role.
United captain Vidic should be fit to start the season after
a cruciate knee ligament operation but Evans is a doubt for the
league opener at Everton on August 20 with an ankle problem.
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