United duo out until New Year

O'Shea and Evans out until 2010

O'Shea & Evans: Ruled out

O'Shea & Evans: Ruled out

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Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that John O'Shea and Jonny Evans will not play again this year.

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Both players were already sidelined, but now the club have confirmed both will be out until January at least.

Evans has been struggling with calf and ankle problems, whilst O'Shea had been sidelined with a dead leg but now the injury is obviously worse than first thought - although United have not gone into detail.

At the weekend, United were forced to field the likes of Darren Fletcher, Ryan Giggs and Michael Carrick in defence and things are not improving.

First-choice central defenders Nemanja Vidic (flu) and Rio Ferdinand (back) are out, whilst Wes Brown and Gary Neville joined the injury list over the weekend.

With Brazilian twins Fabio and Rafael also out, Patrice Evra is the only recognised senior defender travelling to Germany for their trip to Wolfsburg for their UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.

Youngster Oliver Gill has been called into the squad and although he has no first-team experience, he could be handed his debut.

Other options also include moving Park Ji-sung to right-back and switching Fletcher to left-back with Evra playing in the centre alongside Carrick.

Bad news

Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed that Evans and O'Shea were out until January and also revealed that Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov were left behind from their trip to Germany because of fresh injuries.

"There's no good news with all these injured players," Ferguson said.

"We have left several players behind and we have a lot of thinking to do about team selection. That's going to be very important.

"As we've explained, with Rio Ferdinand we have no scheduled return date yet. Wes Brown has a hamstring strain. We hope to have him fit for Saturday but you have to be careful with hamstring injuries.

"And John O'Shea and Jonny Evans are both out until January. They're out for a few weeks."