Manchester United injury update: Ashley Young out for Southampton but Jonny Evans could feature

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28: Ashley Young of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on August 28, 2011 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson held his weekly press conference earlier today and during it, he confirmed the Ashley Young knee injury revealed earlier this week by the FA -- something the manager seemed quite perturbed about judging by the sarcasm in the following quotes:

"In terms of injuries, it was nice of the FA to let everyone know Ashley Young is injured. He's out after the injury last week. It's not serious. There's no point in giving them any information now. He's out but it's not serious and he'll be ready in a couple of weeks' time."

- Ferguson | Source: ManUtd.com

The injury keeps Young out of Sunday's upcoming Southampton tie and it may also have him unavailable for England's upcoming World Cup qualifiers versus Moldova and Ukraine. With the winger out for United, that leaves Nani and Danny Welbeck as the most likely options as the left-sided attacker.

There was a bit of good news though as it appears that center-back Jonny Evans may be available to feature. This would be hugely welcoming because the dire injury situation in central-defense has forced midfielder Michael Carrick to partner Nemanja Vidic for the season's opening two weekends. Although they won't be ready for Southampton, it seems that Rio Ferdinand and Phil Jones are nearing returns as well:

"Centre-back is our main concern at the moment. Jonny Evans played on Wednesday [against Tottenham at Under-21 level] and came through fine. He's the strongest option we've got. Phil Jones has done some training but isn't ready yet. Rio Ferdinand's in the same boat. At least we have one centre-back available, which is an improvement. It allows us to put Michael Carrick back in midfield."

- Ferguson

Evans had this to say to MUTV in regards to his return from injury:

"It's important for me to get that run-out. I was only going to play 60 minutes but ended up playing the full game as Warren let me know before the game. I'm glad I've got 90 minutes under my belt. I'd never really experienced missing pre-season before. People always say it's important to get a good pre-season under your belt and, if you miss it, it affects your season so I've been trying as hard as I can with the fitness work and a lot of work behind the scenes. It was important for me to get this game and instead of only playing 60 minutes, 90 minutes gives me a full game behind me and hopefully I'll be in contention for Sunday. I felt pretty good. I've had a few setbacks over the pre-season where it's not gone as planned but, hopefully, everything is now behind me and I can kick on with the season."

- Evans

U-21 coach Warren Joyce had this to say about Evans' outing on Wednesday:

"It's great to see him back and he's come through unscathed. He's done it properly and got tackles and headers in, moved the ball around and looked good."

- Joyce

Fergie also elaborated a bit on Wayne Rooney's injury:

"Wayne's out for four weeks. It's nothing serious on the actual gash - it's a bad one but it was treated carefully very quickly. We don't expect any complications from it. I think he'll be back in four weeks. The fact it's a gash and not a muscle or joint injury means he can do a lot of work in the gymnasium. We're not too bad with that."

- Ferguson

So overall, it's Ferdinand, Jones, Young, Rooney, and Chris Smalling that have been ruled out for this weekend. Darren Fletcher is always questionable as well due to his unpredictable bowel problem.

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