Manchester United have struggled somewhat with injuries this season, with Rio Ferdinand the only player available for every match so far this season. Wayne Rooney has already faced two spells on the sidelines due to injury, the first occurring on the opening day of the season, and has come back to the team fighting fit and raring to go. Louis Saha played his first full match since last December in our 1-0 defeat against Bolton, but still looks a shadow of his former self. Saha has recently hit back at claims that he has ducked out of matches over the past year due to psychological issues, as was reported towards the close of last season. “People who talk like that are badly informed,” he said. “They hear things said and they speculate. I had six pieces of cartilage in my knee. Was that psychological? It has happened that I train in the week then declare myself unfit for the weekend. My knee could hold up for 20 minutes during training but would never have done so with the much higher intensity of a 90-minute match. I have never refused to play. Each time I missed a match was because I could not play.” Park Ji-Sung suffered a serious injury in March, which was supposed to keep him out of the team until 2008. However, Ferguson has today hinted that he could be back sooner than first expected. “I’m hoping that we get Park back soon,” he said. “He played in the practice game on Sunday and was absolutely outstanding. I hadn’t registered him for Europe at the start of the season because we didn’t think he would be back until January with his injury. I didn’t register him, otherwise I would have taken him to Rome and he would have played. I’ve got the bonus of him coming back into the fold. We want to probably get a reserve game for him next week and then he can play in the first team any time.” Gary Neville suffered yet another injury set back last week, after being tipped to make his return against Roma tonight. However, Ferguson attempted to dispel our fears yesterday, saying “I think Gary will be okay. We sent him back to the specialist but the assessment is very good. It was more like a scar tissue problem. We will work on that and get him back to normal training sessions next week.” Mikael Silvestre is set to recover from his cruciate ligament damage by March of next year, and yesterday reaffirmed his intentions of staying with the club. “I do not plan to leave the club. I want to stay, at least until the end of my contract in June 2009,” he said. Following a successful operation on his knee, Paul Scholes has been pencilled in for February 2nd, when we travel to Spurs, although we have missed the incredible midfielder less than we might have first imagined, thanks to the impressive displays from Anderson. Finally, Ben Foster is still due to return next February.
The Republik of Mancunia has brought out a brilliant downloadable World Cup preview. It contains 20 articles written by football experts on the countries our players will be representing in Brazil. There is also exclusive content from this country's top football journalists, such as Sid Lowe, Martin Lipton, Sam Wallace and Dominic Fifield. All profit is going to charity. More info on the RoM World Cup preview can be found here.
Minimum price is £4. Enter your e-mail address to receive the download and the price you would like to pay.