Fergie rues injury to duo

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MANCHESTER, February 25 – Anderson has added to Manchester United's spiralling injury crisis after the Brazilian midfielder was ruled out for the rest of the season.The former Porto star will need surgery on ruptured cruciate ligaments in his knee and is also out of this year’s World Cup in South Africa.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson told reporters on Thursday that Anderson, who limped out of his team’s 3-0 victory over West Ham on Tuesday, would not play again this season.

The 21-year-old will travel to Portugal next month to undergo surgery before beginning a long rehabilitation process with the aim of being back for the start of next season.

It is a major blow for the player and Ferguson, who is already without Ryan Giggs, John O’Shea and Owen Hargreaves.

The United boss also confirmed that Rio Ferdinand will not play in England’s friendly against Egypt at Wembley on Wednesday.

Ferdinand suffered a twinge in his back hours before he was due to make his return from suspension against West Ham in midweek.

But he is expected to be out for the next two weeks, which is also likely to rule him out of United’s Champions League game with AC Milan at Old Trafford on March 10.

"Anderson has got a cruciate knee injury so he’ll be out for the rest of the season. It’s a bad blow," confirmed Ferguson ahead of United’s League Cup final with Aston Villa at Wembley on Sunday.

"He’s stretched to pass the ball and it’s popped. It’s a bad bit of news for him because he was looking forward to being back in the first team after a few weeks out.

"It’s a blow particularly with the Milan game coming up because (Michael) Carrick is suspended for that one.

"The start of the next season is six months away. We’ll assess the situation. We know he needs the operation and that will be done in two weeks time when all the swelling has gone.

"We’re going to let him go to Portugal to do it. He’s comfortable with the specialist whose dealt with him in the past when he was at Porto.

"We made the decisions after we assessed the damage. Hopefully six months, he should be about right for the new season."

Ferdinand had been due to take over as England skipper from John Terry, who was stripped of the captaincy last month following a string of lurid headlines over an extra-marital affair and alleged abuse of his position.

In his absence, vice-captain Steven Gerrard will lead England against Egypt at Wembley, with either Frank Lampard or Wayne Rooney likely to act as vice-captain.

Ferguson added: "As for Rio, we don’t think it’s terribly serious but it was bad enough for him not to play on Tuesday.

"We couldn’t take a chance on it so he’ll be out on Sunday. He won’t be fit for the England game, that’s obvious.

"It’s a blow for us because I was looking forward to Ferdinand and (Nemanja) Vidic being back for Tuesday.

"It wasn’t to be. You can never know with back injuries, we’ve been through this before and we don’t think it’s too serious.

"We think he’ll be back in two weeks but I don’t think he’ll be back for the Milan game."

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