United's Evans out two weeks with calf injury

Manchester United defender Jonny Evans will be sidelined two weeks with a calf injury, leaving the English Premier League side without another option in central defense.

Evans, 23, was removed at halftime of Monday's 5-0 win over Wigan. He becomes the 11th player currently injured, and leaves United thin in defense following the loss of Nemanja Vidic for the season due to a knee injury.

In addition, Rio Ferdinand picked up a back injury recently. Evans was the one healthy central defender on the roster against Wigan, and Michael Carrick and Patrice Evra finished the match in central defense.

Manchester hopes that Phil Jones and Chris Smalling return in time for the New Year's Day match with Blackburn, as both missed the Wigan game due to illness.

"We've had a nightmare in the last few days. Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have both been ill, then Rio [Ferdinand] cried off on Sunday with a back injury and Jonny Evans came off injured at halftime [against Wigan]," Sir Alex Ferguson told MUTV.

"I'm hoping that Smalling and Jones will have recovered from illness [for Saturday] as that will make a difference."

United moved level with Manchester City on points for the top spot in the EPL, but the problems on defense will be a concern in the upcoming weeks.