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Nani out of key games

Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed Nani will be out of action for Manchester United's next three games.

Nani angry over injury

Nani had to be substituted during the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday after he suffered a deep gash in a challenge from Jamie Carragher.

Ferguson was relatively upbeat about the injury but said he will be sidelined for Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final clash with Arsenal, Tuesday's Champions League tie with Marseille and the Premier League game against Bolton next weekend.

"We have managed to stitch the injury, which is good news," Ferguson said. "We need to guard against infection and swelling.

"It is difficult to say exactly when he will be ready to return but we won't get him back for the Bolton match next Saturday."

However, he added: "We do have a two-week break after next Saturday. He will be ready for the return of that, that's for sure."

Reports had suggested Antonio Valencia and Park Ji-Sung could be back in the squad to face Arsenal after lengthy spells on the sidelines, but Ferguson ruled out the prospect that they could be involved.

"Antonio is difficult to assess because he has been out for such a long time," Ferguson said. "He has been training very well and is taking part in a few practice matches between the players.

"It is deciding when we can put him into the cut and thrust of a game. There is a question mark over the timing but at some point, we are going to have to try it.

"It won't be tomorrow. Hopefully it will be quite soon."

With Rio Ferdinand also ruled out, United will be without ten first-team players, but Ferguson has vowed to select his strongest team.

"A quarter-final tie against Arsenal is always an exciting game," he said. "It is an opportunity to get to the semi-final, so we will be doing our best and we will play our best available team."

United have been on a disappointing run of form of late, losing their last two Premier League games and putting in subpar performances away at Marseille and in the FA Cup against Crawley, but Ferguson is happy that his team are still in contention for three trophies.

"You have to look forward," he said. "We have big opportunities at the club and there are a lot of challenges ahead for the rest of the season.

"It is terrific to be involved in the middle of March. Every game you play is of importance. We have Tuesday's game against Marseille and Bolton in a league game next weekend. It goes on and on.

"That is why you get to March and hope you are involved in all these things. We are."


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