Manchester United skipper Nemanja Vidic is likely to be sidelined until Christmas, manager Sir Alex Ferguson has told MUTV.
Vidic, 30, sustained an injury to the same knee in December 2011 that ruled him out the remainder of that campaign and underwent surgery to repair the problem after being left out of the 2-1 victory over Liverpool on September 25.
The Serbian defender was thought to be out until late November, but Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed to MUTV that he will be out for longer.
"I think we're talking around December for Vidic," Ferguson revealed. "Maybe around Christmas time."
United have struggled in defence this season but could be boosted by the return of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, who areboth yet to feature this season. Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans have been the only senior centre-backs available to Ferguson of late.