Manchester United have suffered a blow after learning that Mikael Silvestre will miss the rest of the season with a cruciate knee ligament injury.
Silvestre was stretchered off in the win against Everton
Silvestre, 30, was stretchered off just before half-time in Saturday's 1-0 win at Everton after collapsing in pain.
Defender Silvestre's appearances have been limited this season because of Patrice Evra's good form.
But his injury leaves United short of defensive cover at left-back following Gabriel Heinze's move to Real Madrid.
It is also the latest in a series of knee injuries to hit the Old Trafford camp.
Park Ji-Sung and England keeper Ben Foster are both at different stages of recovery from cruciate ligament surgery, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer announced his retirement this month after failing to recover from a long-term knee complaint.
John O'Shea is also out after sustaining an injury on Republic of Ireland duty last week, while youngsters Gerard Pique and Johnny Evans are likely to be among Ferguson's squad when United open their Champions League campaign against Sporting Lisbon in Portugal on Wednesday.