MANCHESTER, England -- Manchester United says captain Nemanja Vidic will be sidelined for about two months following right knee surgery.
The Serbian defender missed the final five months of last season after rupturing a cruciate ligament, and United says he's now had a meniscus operation on the same knee.
United says Vidic was initially rested for Sunday's match against Liverpool as a precaution "after he complained of tightness in his knee, however, further medical investigation revealed the underlying problem."
Even on the timescale United highlighted Tuesday it would rule the Serbian out of the Red Devils' next three Champions League matches in addition to seven Premier League games, including key meetings with Chelsea and Arsenal.
Short-term, it provides Sir Alex Ferguson with a major headache. As Phil Jones has been ruled out for a similar period of time with the same problem and Chris Smalling is yet to resume training after a broken metatarsal, it leaves the United manager with only two fit central defenders.
Information from The Associated Press and Press Association was used in this report.