RYAN GIGGS OUT FOR A MONTH

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RYAN GIGGS OUT FOR A MONTH

Post by Admin on Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:02 pm

Manchester United have been dealt a Champions League blow, with Ryan Giggs ruled out for four weeks with a fractured arm.
Although Sir Alex Ferguson sounded optimistic immediately after
United's draw at Aston Villa, the delicate way Giggs held his right arm
after the second-half collision with Steve Sidwell and the fact he left
for an X-ray with his arm in a sling suggested bad news was on its way.
It duly arrived on Thursday afternoon, along with the knowledge
Giggs will miss both legs of the Champions League encounter with AC
Milan - and a reunion with old friend David Beckham - the Carling Cup
final against Villa at Wembley on February 28, plus a sequence of key
Premier League matches.
The only good news is that a four-week absence suggests the damage
is relatively minor and Giggs should be back before the crunch
encounter with Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 31, plus the
Champions League quarter-finals the following month, if Ferguson's team
make it that far.
While Giggs no longer features in every Red Devils game, the 36-year-old's importance cannot be underestimated.
Arguably, the veteran Welshman is playing to a more consistent level
than he has done in his entire career and with 11 league titles in a
gargantuan trophy collection, his experience at key points in the
season is invaluable.
In addition, it provides Ferguson with a double headache in terms of
his wide players because Nani must now serve a three-match ban
following his dismissal for a reckless tackle on Stiliyan Petrov.
Although the suspension only applies to domestic matches, as Giggs
will also be missing when United tackle Everton on February 20 and West
Ham three days later, plus the Carling Cup showpiece, Ferguson will
have to rely on Antonio Valencia to provide genuine width, unless he
turns to the largely untested Gabriel Obertan.
The news about Giggs put a dampner on what had been a pretty successful night for Ferguson's team.
Despite playing with 10 men for an hour, they were the more
convincing side at Villa Park and looked like the team most likely to
gain victory.
Even though three points did not come, Chelsea's surprise defeat at
Everton allowed them to move within a point of the leaders with 12
games remaining, one of which is what looks a hugely important clash of
the top two at Old Trafford on April 3.
Not that Edwin van der Sar ever viewed it as a two-horse race, not
even after Arsenal had been mauled by United and Chelsea on successive
weekends.
"There is a little bit of a gap between us but Arsenal are still around," said the Dutchman.
"But really, we are not looking to anyone else.
"We will concentrate on ourselves and hopefully we can continue this
workrate and quality of play we have shown in the last couple of weeks."
Although he will lament the loss of Giggs and Nani, Ferguson will
have Rio Ferdinand back for the San Siro tussle and after suggesting
Nemanja Vidic was nearing full fitness following a nerve problem last
week, the Serbian might also be available.
Crucially, his side also have virtually an entire week to prepare
following that unexpected FA Cup third-round exit against Leeds last
month.
"In terms of preparing for a European tie we are pleased to have a free weekend," said Ferguson.
"AC Milan are playing on Friday night. That is the kind of help European teams get from their countries. We don't get that here.
"By fortune we don't have a game on Saturday because we are out of the FA Cup and we are going to take full advantage of it.
"The players will have a couple of days off because they have worked hard and we will start again on Saturday."

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