Fergie: Smith back in 6-7 months
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Man United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed mixed news on the injury front.
Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed mixed news on the injury front as he copes without the services of Alan Smith and Paul Scholes this season.
The Manchester United manager is delighted with Smith's attitude, following his horrific injury at Liverpool last Saturday, and is convinced the tenacious 25-year-old Yorkshireman will be back within six or seven months.
There were initial fears for Smith's career but the operation was a success after he broke his leg, dislocated his ankle and also damaged ligaments.
Scholes, however, is making only slight progress as he battles to overcome an eye condition and still seems certain to miss the remainder of the season.
"There is no doubt Alan will be back," asserted Ferguson. "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 bad one of course, it was a terrible injury but there a lot of things in Alan's favour, particularly his courage and his age. He's 25 years of age, absolutely no question he can come back from that.
"We've had a few bad injuries over the years and always handled the rehabilitation very well. Look at Wes Brown, for instance, he's a great example of that. Roy Keane, many players have had bad injuries and came back.
"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's 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."
Scholes's situation is improving but the former England international is unlikely to figure again in the 2005/2006 campaign.
"Paul went back to see the specialist a week last Tuesday," added Ferguson.
"There was a little change for the better but not significant enough to think he could come back this season."