Manchester United's injury nightmare looks set to continue with the news that defender Jonny Evans is a doubt for the Premier League trip to Newcastle United this weekend after limping off during Tuesday's Champions League win against FKR Cluj.
The 24 year old's setback makes him the latest defender to suffer from the current injury jinx befalling the Old Trafford club with Nemanja Vidic, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones all current long-term absentees; with Rio Ferdinand set be the only fully fit senior centre back for the visit to the Sports Direct Arena.
Sir Alex Ferguson could be forced into employing Michael Carrick, who missed the trip to Romania with a virus, at the centre of defence or promoting either Scott Wootton, who replaced Evans after 79 minutes, or Michael Keane, both of whom featured in the last week's League Cup over Sunday's opponents.
"Jonny got injured on Saturday," Ferguson said. "He had a recurrence of that. It is a dead leg. He has five days to recover for Sunday. Hopefully he will be okay."
The news is yet another significant injury blow to a United squad which is already bereft of wingers Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia with respective knee and ankle injuries.
But the positives continue for Darren Fletcher, who completed his second ninety minutes in a week against Cluj, after featuring against Newcastle last Wednesday.
The Scotland captain, who also earned an international recall yesterday for the World Cup qualifying double header against Wales and Belgium, is another option to fill in in defence for United as he seeks his first league appearance since November 2011.
Robin van Persie's double ensured Manchester United continued their winning start to the Champions League group phase following a comfortable win over Cluj.
United's defensive jitters returned after just 14 minutes as Pantelis Kapetanos put the Romanian champions ahead, but Wayne Rooney crossed for Van Persie to head in a looped leveller before the half hour mark before he fed the Dutchman early in the second half to hand the visitors the lead.
David de Gea had to be alert to keep out late headers from Rafael Bastos and Cadu as Cluj looked to rally, but United held out to leave Ferguson satisfied by the performance.
"I've got to be pleased with the possession and the concentration was really good tonight," Ferguson told ITV Sport. "Apart from the goal we defended very well. They hit so many really good, telling crosses into our box that kept us under pressure all the time, kept us on edge.
"David (De Gea) made a good save at the end so I've got to be pleased. Coming away from home in Europe is never easy and as I said before the game, they've a good record here."
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