United hit with injuries


MANCHESTER, February 22- Manchester United set out for Marseille on Tuesday for their Champions League Last 16 round tie without several senior players including Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs.

Ferdinand has not played since picking up a calf injury before the Premier League defeat at Wolves on February 5, and his fellow central defender Jonny Evans also missed the trip as he is struggling with an ankle problem.

That meant Chris Smalling was in line to start alongside Nemanja Vidic in the heart of the United back four against the French champions.

Veteran midfielder Giggs was another absentee from the United party, which was also missing Michael Owen, who has a groin injury.

United midfielder Anderson was a non-traveller and could be facing a lengthy absence from the side after being substituted at half-time in Saturday’s FA Cup fifth-round win over Crawley.

He reportedly suffered a knee injury which will need further examination before United can be sure how long he will be absent for.

However United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was able to include Brazilian twins Rafael and Fabio, despite the pair both coming off with injuries during the Crawley match, while youngsters Joshua King and Ryan Tunnicliffe were also selected, along with Gabriel Obertan and Bebe.