Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted that Gary Neville may have to undergo an operation on his troublesome calf problem.
The United captain has struggled with the injury for some time and was forced to drop out of the England squad for last week's international friendly with Holland because of the problem.
Neville returned to the United team for the weekend win at Sheffield United, but Ferguson admitted: "Gary came through Saturday's game okay and he trained on Monday morning but obviously the injury has been a concern.
"We're holding our breath hoping it doesn't happen again because, if it does, we'll have to take a long-term view and do something about it.
"If it keeps going on and on and on, we might get to the new year having lost Gary for a long period.
"Had it just been one calf, we'd be saying to ourselves 'give it time'. But because he's getting it in the left one as well, it suggests it's something different.
"Gary is our captain and has great experience, and we want him in our team all the time."