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Manchester United injury update | Nemanja Vidic is still the only available central-defender

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Phil Jones returned to training yesterday but he's not expected to be available versus Fulham
Phil Jones returned to training yesterday but he's not expected to be available versus Fulham

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson held his weekly press conference this morning and during it, he spoke about the dire injury situation in his central-defense. He confirmed the suspicion that the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling, and Phil Jones would not be available for selection. There was some slightly good news though on the latter and perhaps he'll be available for next weekend's tie versus Southampton:

"Phil Jones started training yesterday but tomorrow is too soon for him."

- Ferguson | Source: ManUtd.com

So who will partner captain Nemanja Vidic in central-defense?:

"I need to call Bruce and Pallister!"

- Ferguson

The gaffer has jokes.

The obvious candidates to partner Vida are midfielder Michael Carrick -- who filled-in on Monday versus Everton -- or youngster Scott Wootton. Fergie did offer this possibility as well:

"Alex [Buttner] will be involved tomorrow because he gives that back-up. [Patrice] Evra could actually play centre-back. He has done in the past. But I don't think Alex [Buttner] will start tomorrow, I think he'll be on the bench."

- Ferguson

So Fergie sort of offered the possibility that Evra could start but then said his only deputy at left-back -- Buttner -- likely won't start. Mind games!

To break it down simply, here are the two most likely scenarios: (1) Carrick partners Vidic again or (2) Evra slides inside to partner Vidic and Buttner starts at left-back. I suppose a less likely third possibility would be a youngster such as Wootton or Michael Keane getting a start.

Injuries are not a concern elsewhere and every player that was possibly rested due to recent international duty should be available for selection.