Ferguson confirms Nani absence

The winger was forced out of his side’s 3-1 defeat at Liverpool on

Sunday after sustaining a deep gash following a first-half tackle

by Jamie Carragher. Many observers felt the challenge warranted a

straight red card rather than the yellow Carragher received and the

player made a personal apology to Nani after the game. As Ferguson

did not speak post match, Friday morning was the first opportunity

to get a public verdict on the injury and the United boss is

reasonably happy with the treatment, even though Nani will not be

fit for Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final with Arsenal, Tuesday’s

Champions League clash against Marseille or next Saturday’s Premier

League meeting with Bolton. “We have managed to stitch the injury,

which is good news,” said Ferguson. “We need to guard against

infection and swelling. “It is difficult to say exactly when he

will be ready to return but we won’t get him back for the Bolton

match next Saturday.” Arsene Wenger has hogged most of the

headlines this week following the row over Robin van Persie’s red

card in Barcelona and the subsequent decision by UEFA to charge the

Gunners boss with improper conduct. However, it only mirrors the

difficulties Ferguson encountered with his observations about

Martin Atkinson following last week’s Premier League defeat at

Chelsea. Little wonder then, that when asked whether he had any

sympathy for Wenger at United’s Carrington training complex on

Friday morning, Ferguson turned the question back on himself. “I

have sympathy for myself. I didn’t have an easy week myself,” he

said. Ferguson decided not to discuss any controversy further,

preferring instead to look ahead at what is to come. “You have to

look forward,” he continued. “We have big opportunities at the club

and there are a lot of challenges ahead for the rest of the season.

“It is terrific to be involved in the middle of March. Every game

you play is of importance. “We have Tuesday’s game against

Marseille and Bolton in a league game next weekend. It goes on and

on. “That is why you get to March and hope you are involved in all

these things. We are.” “It won’t be tomorrow. Hopefully it will be

quite soon.”