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United midfielder Anderson ruled out for the season

Manchester United midfielder Anderson has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a cruciate ligament injury, picked up during United's 3-0 win against West Ham on Tuesday.

Anderson had just been starting to get back into first-team contention after falling out of favour with Sir Alex Ferguson following his decision to go AWOL in January, but he could now be out of action for up to ten months after rupturing his cruciate ligament stretching for the ball.

The Brazil midfielder will be sent to Portugal for treatment to work with a specialist he knows from his days at Porto, with United opting against sending him to renowned knee specialist Dr Richard Steadman.

The news is another blow to United, who will also have England captain Rio Ferdinand missing for a couple of weeks with a back injury, while Ryan Giggs is out until April with a broken arm.

Ferguson's can still depend on the likes of Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher and Darron Gibson, while United are still awaiting the return of Owen Hargreaves after two years of injury woe.

Anderson joined Manchester United from Porto in 2007, for a fee of around £18 million and along with Nani, who arrived at the same time, was considered one of the hottest prospects in Europe.

But he has struggled to maintain a regular starting berth and he has scored just one goal in nearly 100 appearances for United, in a 3-1 victory over Tottenham earlier this season.

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