Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson insists Alan Smith could return from his horrific injury in “six or seven months“. The 25-year-old broke his leg and dislocated an ankle in the FA Cup defeat at Liverpool, injuries Ferguson said were among the worst he had seen.
But Ferguson said to The Daily Mail:
“There is no doubt Alan will be back. It was a terrible injury but there are a lot of things in Alan’s favour, particularly his courage and his age. It may take a bit longer than a normal break because of the complications with his ankle joint but he should be back within six or seven months. The treatment so far and the operation has been very successful and we can be positive about the future.”
Smith suffered the injuries as he raced to charge down John Arne Riise’s free-kick after coming on as subsitute in the closing stages of United’s 1-0 defeat at Anfield. As well as ruling him out of United’s plans, it also wrecked Smith’s hopes of playing at the World Cup.
But Ferguson is full of admiration for Smith, saying:
“It is amazing to see the way Alan has handled it. I went to see him on Monday and he was so philosophical about things. He just said `that is football’. It is a very commendable attitude to have but people with character are like that and it will give him a better chance of recovery than a normal person.“
Paul Scholes is also absent from the Carling Cup final preparations, having opted to take his family on holiday as he continues his own recovery from a major eye problem. But Ji Sung-Park and Darren Fletcher are expected to fill the midfield roles with Ryan Giggs and Cristiano Ronaldo taking up the flanks.
Fergie’s comments comments also come in the wake of severe condemnation all around the football world, including Liverpool itself, of the attacking of Smith’s ambulance van on his way to the hospital, as reported by the BBC