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Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Manchester United duo Anderson and Jonny Evans will be out of action for three weeks after sustaining ankle injuries but ruled out any further activity in the transfer market.

Midfielder Anderson and defender Evans were both injured during the Carling Cup semi-final, second leg victory against Derby County on Tuesday.

Anderson was carried off on a stretcher after the final whistle while Evans limped through the latter stages of United's 4-2 win at Old Trafford.

Their injuries further compounded the injury crisis for the United manager who will be without an entire back four on Saturday when his side tackle Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup at Old Trafford.

If Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs fail to recover from minor knocks, the Red Devils will be missing a dozen regular members of their first-team squad.

Most are short-term injuries, with Wes Brown and Rio Ferdinand among those tipped to be fit in time to face Everton on February 2.

And Ferguson has already dismissed the idea of bringing in reinforcements, even on loan, to ease United through their troubles. ''No, I won't be doing that,'' confirmed the Scot.

Instead, he will rely on youngsters such as Richard Eckersley and Fabio, twin brother of right-back Rafael, one of the men injured, plus central defender James Chester to plug any gaps, with Darren Fletcher tipped to fill the right-back berth.

''I do have options,'' said Ferguson. ''Hopefully Neville will be OK, then I can play Fletcher at right-back, so with Nemanja Vidic and John O'Shea we would have an experienced back four.

''Alternatively, if we thought Eckersley or Fabio could be one of the full-backs Fletcher can play in midfield.''

As Tottenham are similarly affected, from a much smaller pool of players, it might not have too much impact on the outcome of the match.

However, with West Brom to face on Tuesday, then Everton next Monday - unless either United or the Toffeemen require an FA Cup replay in which case the game will be moved back to January 31 - it is a worrying repeat of two years ago.

Then Ferguson's squad was ravaged by injuries, which the United chief feels cost them any chance of Champions League glory as they were dumped out by AC Milan in the semi-final.

''At the moment we have got a lot of injuries that will affect us for the next three matches,'' said Ferguson. ''However, if we get over the Everton game, hopefully we will be OK.''

At least Anderson, who was stretchered off after the final whistle on Tuesday, should only be out for three weeks with ligament damage, with Jonny Evans sidelined for a similar length of time after aggravating an ankle injury as United reached the Carling Cup Final.

However, the mountain of injuries has had Ferguson once again raising the prospect of a winter break, which has always been resisted by the Premier League.

''We are not the best position because there are a lot of games in January,'' said Ferguson.

''At this time of year players often carry little strains, which eventually become injuries that force them to miss games. That is why managers for years have pursued the hope they will have a winter break. Unfortunately, it is not to be.''

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