An early return from injury could result in an image like this again for the United skipper.... (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
The Daily Mail reports that Club Captain Nemanja Vidic very may well return before the season ends. The original target for a comeback was pre-season, but he could return to give our title chances a boost.
Sportsmail understands the former Serbia centre half is making rapid progress as he works on his fitness and is putting significant weight back on his knee during his rehabilitation sessions.
Vidic has been aiming to be fit by the time United head to Asia on a pre-season tour in July and that remains the target set by United's medical staff.
However, there is now an outside chance that the 30-year-old could be ready to play before the end of the season.
Lets bear in mind that these are reports that have not been confirmed by the club (And I wouldn't expect them to be either). Jonny Evans has played in Vidic's absence and really established himself as a Manchester United defender after a poor couple of seasons, particularly last year. He could hardly win a contested header to be honest, but he has made that a strength in his game, putting in some towering displays.
My question is this. Is hurrying Nemanja Vidic back a risk worth taking? Cruciate Ligament injuries can be career threatening when poorly handled and as Vidic is no spring chicken there is a slight doubt that he could be the same presence as he has been since he moved to Manchester. We need to give him as much time as he needs to recover and personally, I feel that pre-season should still be the target. What if he comes back to early, throws himself into a challenge which is such a part of his game and messes his knee up again? That really would be a game changer.....
Having said that, if he is something near to 100%, and has come through a handful of reserve games come April time, what a boost it would be to have Vidic back. Rio Ferdinand is in and out of the team of late as he battles niggling injuries, Chris Smalling has just returned from a minor injury and Phil Jones (very much our 5th choice Cb when all our fit and healthy) has just returned from a month or so out. Jonny Evans has been the real constant in the heart of the back line, and he has performed brilliantly, especially as of late.
Who would have thought we would be saying that about Evans last year.... :) Feel free to share any thoughts about Vidic and the state of the United defense here. Cheers