Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is confident Gerard Pique can fill Rio Ferdinand's boots after his injury blow against Middlesbrough on Sunday.
The stand-in skipper limped out of the 2-2 draw at the Riverside Stadium with initial reports claiming he could miss the rest of the season with a metatarsal injury.
Scans on Monday confirmed the defender should be back in action in the near future after not suffering a bone break, but Ferdinand is likely to miss Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final second leg clash with AS Roma.
Regular central defensive partner Nemanja Vidic will also miss out with a knee problem picked up in the first leg, but Ferguson has no fears over putting Pique into the firing line against the Italian side.
The 21-year-old Spaniard has been used sparingly this season, but replaced Ferdinand against Middlesbrough on Sunday.
"Pique came on and did brilliantly. He was marvellous," said Ferguson.
"The lad's a terrific player and I think that actually helped us.
"We've got great confidence in the lad and he's come through very well."