Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson reckons broken-leg victim Alan Smith could be back in action within six or seven months.
The England international suffered a horror injury when he attempted to charge down John Arne Riise’s free-kick during United’s FA Cup defeat to Liverpool last weekend, breaking his leg, dislocating his ankle and also damaging ligaments.
At the time, Ferguson described Smith’s injury as one of the worst he had ever witnessed and even Edwin van der Sar admitted a sense of panic as he tended to the combative midfielder.
However, it appears talk of Smith’s career being in jeopardy is wide of the mark.
Although the 25-year-old has been ordered not to travel to Cardiff for Sunday’s Carling Cup final, Ferguson has revealed the operation to reset Smith’s leg was a success and he could be back in action by the beginning of September.
“There is no doubt Alan will be back,” said the United boss.
“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.
“It was a terrible injury but there are a lot of things in Alan’s favour, particularly his courage and his age.”