Injury woes mounting for United defense

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is already facing a rash of injuries to his defense with Rio Ferdinand joining Rafael on sidelines for the next six weeks.

It was announced prior to Sunday's match with West Bromwich, which United won 2-1, that Rafael would miss the next 10 weeks after suffering a dislocated shoulder in training.

However, things got worse for the boss during the game as Nemanja Vidic limped off just after halftime with a calf problem while Ferdinand sustained an injury to his hamstring 15 minutes from time which will keep him out six weeks.

The injury to Vidic is not believed to be as serious, but he could still miss a few weeks, potentially costing him games with Tottenham and Arsenal in the league.

Ferdinand will not only miss out on key games against Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea, but he will also be sidelined for a pair of Euro 2012 qualifiers for England against Bulgaria and Wales.

One positive for Ferguson is the possible return of full back Patrice Evra from a knee injury in time for United's match with Tottenham next Monday.