Big opportunities lie ahead for Manchester United FC but injuries potentially may set back the club in their ambitions. United seek to surpass Liverpool FC for a top flight English football record 19th league title while still also chasing European glory in the UEFA Champions League. Furthermore, the club has a FA Cup quarter-final clash with Arsenal FC at Old Trafford on Saturday evening. Ahead of the tie with the North London club, United may potentially be without up to 10 first-team squad members. Sadly, because there are so many injuries and varying degrees of severity, I thought it would be easier to sum them all up in a post. Here is a current update of the injuries:
* Nani - The latest and possibly the most significant injury for the club was the one suffered by the Portuguese winger at Anfield last Sunday. Nani will miss the next three matches after receiving a horrific gash on a Jamie Carragher rash challenge. If the gash doesn't become infected, Nani is expected to return after the upcoming international break.
* Rio Ferdinand - The England captain still is out from his calf injury that he suffered in warm-ups last month for a match versus Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux. He's been ruled out for the Arsenal match, but he may potentially be available for the upcoming mid-week Champions League clash with Olympique de Marseille on Tuesday.
* Park Ji-sung - The South Korean hasn't been featured for United since December when he left for national team duties. Park's hamstring injury has taken longer to recover from than expected, but he's likely to return soon. The winger will not be available for Arsenal.
* Antonio Valencia - The Ecuadorean is also expected to return soon from his horrendous broken leg that he suffered in September in a Champions League game versus Rangers. Valencia played in a behind closed doors scrimmage on Monday but was held out of a reserves match during the mid-week. This led to speculation that Valencia may be featured versus Arsenal, but manager Sir Alex Ferguson said that won't be the case.
* Michael Owen - The England striker is another who is close to returning. Owen has been battling a groin strain and he might be available for the tie versus Arsenal or for the mid-week match with Marseille.
* Owen Hargreaves - What can we really say about Hargo in an injury update? He'll be back when he's back... and then at that point we can hope doesn't re-injure himself.
* Jonny Evans - The defender has been battling an ankle knock that has has kept him out for the past few weeks. He too is expected to return very soon.
* Anderson - The Brazilian midfielder continues to recover from his knee injury but he isn't expected back until sometime after the upcoming international break.
Unless there a few surprise injuries that weren't communicated in this week's media blackout by Fergie, this is pretty much the injury list and how long each is expected to be unavailable. Patrice Evra received a knock in the match versus Chelsea on March 1, but he was able to go this past Sunday at Anfield. Fatigue is certainly an issue as well with the congested fixture list and the lack of depth due to injury hasn't helped the situation at all. I'm sure Fergie and all United supporters would be beyond thrilled if we could find away to advance in the FA Cup and Champions League this week and come away with three points versus Bolton Wanderers; then the international break would come and allow the club to have two weeks for rest and healing.