Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson announced on Friday that the club will be without captain Nemanja Vidic for up to five weeks due to a calf injury.

Vidic sustained the problem in Sunday's 2-1 win at West Bromwich, but after initially being ruled out for a few weeks, it now appears as though the Red Devils will be without their captain for a key stretch of games against Tottenham, Arsenal, Bolton and Chelsea.

The club got better news concerning fellow defender Rio Ferdinand, who had initially been ruled out for six weeks with a hamstring problem.

Ferdinand is reportedly ahead of schedule, and Ferguson revealed that he could be fit to feature in next weekend's match with Arsenal.

United is already without defender Rafael for the next 10 weeks because of a shoulder injury, while the club could soon get back Patrice Evra after a knee problem.