Reports on Nani's return timeline vary; Antonio Valencia close to comeback

Antonio Valencia has resumed training at Carrington (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

The Daily Star reports that Manchester United winger Nani could potentially miss the rest of the season if his gash is to become infected. Nani received the injury after a horrific challenge from Liverpool FC defender Jamie Carragher. Due to the media blackout imposed by United after their Sunday afternoon defeat at Anfield, information has been scarce in regards to the Portuguese winger's injury. Reports on his return have ranged from 10-14 days, one month, and even this Daily Star report that an infection could take him out for the remainder of the season. Nani has perhaps been the most vital member of the United attack during the current campaign with his trickery and pace from the flanks; the winger has 9 goals and 13 assists in Premier League play.

The league leading Reds face a crucial point of their season after coming off two straight defeats by Liverpool and Chelsea FC in league play. The upcoming fixture lists includes a FA Cup quarter-final tie versus Arsenal, a Champions League clash with Olympique de Marseille, and the final nine matches of the Premier League season; where United seek to surpass Liverpool for the most top flight English football league titles with 19. Injuries have been a thorn in the side to United as of late and when, or if, Nani returns may prove to be crucial for the club's current ambitions. 

News on Valencia after the jump...

However, there is a bit of good news. The Sun's Phil Thomas reports that Antonio Valencia is on track to return soon. The Ecuadorian winger could potentially provide a boost to United's title-chase if he is able to complete the final stages of his comeback from a left ankle break suffered in September's UEFA Champions League tie with Rangers. He was initially expected to miss the rest of the season after the injury occurred, but Valencia was able to participate through an entire training match versus the United youth squad. This was followed by his inclusion with the rest of the first-team side in training at Carrington yesterday. It's probably a bit too optimistic to expect Valencia to return to the form he was in prior to his injury, but a speedy return from him and Park Ji-Sung could help ease the blow that Nani's injury has given United. 

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