Berbatov troubled by knee pain

BY foxsports • January 16, 2010

Sir Alex Ferguson has once again raised the spectre of Dimitar Berbatov heading for a knee operation.

Manchester United's record signing opened the scoring in Saturday's 3-0 win over Burnley at Old Trafford but left the action early.

And Ferguson confirmed the Bulgarian had reported more pain from a knee injury which the United boss revealed only on Friday that his £30.75million striker had vowed to battle through.

"Dimitar was feeling his knee again," confirmed Ferguson.

"He played through it today but he could have come off at half-time.

"We will have to look at it again on Monday and see what the situation is."

If Berbatov is forced to go for surgery it will either mean another venture into the transfer market or even more responsibility being placed on the shoulders of Wayne Rooney.

It would be a shame too for Ferguson, given how impressed he was with the Bulgarian's efforts.

"He was the player who looked most like scoring today," he said.

"A couple of shots went just by the post, he also had a couple of headers over the bar. He had so many attempts he was probably relieved to get one in the end."

Rooney doubled United's lead with his 16th goal of the season before new-boy Mame Biram Diouf marked his home debut by finding the net late on when he headed Antonio Valencia's cross past Brian Jensen.

Yet Ferguson was honest enough to accept Burnley had spurned two decent chances when Steven Fletcher and David Nugent failed to find the target after finding themselves clean through when the game was still deadlocked.

"We could have been embarrassed," he admitted.

"We had a number of opportunities to punish them in the final third but there was a bit of nervousness and anxiety about our game.

"You need a goal to open teams up in matches like that, although while they will probably feel 3-0 was unfair, I didn't believe it was too unjust."

Ferguson must now turn his attention to Tuesday's Carling Cup semi-final first-leg trip to Manchester City.

Darren Fletcher, who was suspended this afternoon, seems certain to start along with Ryan Giggs.

But Ferguson confirmed Darron Gibson and the Da Silva brothers, Fabio and Rafael, will also be in contention.

New Burnley manager Brian Laws also felt Nugent's miss was the crucial point of the game, although that will not stop him trying to secure the services of the Portsmouth striker, who is currently on loan at Turf Moor.

"Hopefully something will happen in the next 48 hours," said Laws.

"The club have been trying to keep David for some time and I know enough about him to want him to stay.

"It is a simple equation really. He either stays with us or Portsmouth sell him. He cannot go on loan anywhere else."

Laws also revealed Fletcher had gone for an X-ray after being forced off with an ankle injury suffered during a first-half challenge with Antonio Valencia.

"It was a blow to lose Steven because he was really causing them a problem," he said.

"But he got a real kick on the ankle, so he has gone for an X-ray.

"It is just a precaution though and we will assess it again over the next couple of days."

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