Berbatov sidelined by ankle injury
United's record signing suffered an ankle injury during Monday's training session at Nike's plush HQ in Portland and was unable to join his team-mates as they went through their paces at CenturyLink field ahead of the friendly with the Seattle Sounders.
Although Berbatov's injury is described as 'a knock', at such an early stage of pre-season, manager Sir Alex Ferguson will not want to take any risks. It is a blow for the Bulgarian though given how eager he is to impress after failing to even make the bench for last season's Champions League final.
Ferguson has already pledged not to involve any of this week's arrivals for the encounter against the MLS' best supported team, which is expected to attract in excess of 60,000.
That includes new keeper David de Gea, who looked impressive in training but may need to bulk up to cope with the rigours of Premier League combat, plus Phil Jones, already identified as a potential partner for Chris Smalling in the future, which Rio Ferdinand feels is a bit unfair to Jonny Evans
"You can't discount Jonny," said Ferdinand in a webchat with www.manutd.com.
"It's a bit out of order that people have been saying it's definitely going to be Chris and Phil.
"Jonny's also one of the most talented central defenders in Great Britain.
"I'm sure all three of them will be battling it out in the future to play in the centre of defence."
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