Manchester United confirm Antonio Valencia will miss 'good portion' of the season
In the immediate aftermath of the incident, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson ruled Valencia out of the remainder of the campaign and likened the injury to one suffered by Alan Smith in 2006. But in a statement released by the club 24 hours after the 25-year-old underwent surgery, the club said they remained optimistic about the Ecuadorian's recovery. Related ArticlesFerdinand realistic about return to peak formAntonio Valencia 'could return this season'Money-laden footballers could help Nobby StilesMichael Owen frustrated with lack of footballAnti-Glazer campaign fadingFletcher backs Valencia to bounce back "The operation went well, a plate has been inserted to stabilise the fracture but there is obviously significant ligament damage that follows a dislocation," it said. "He will be out for a good portion of the season." The statement also denied claims attributed to the Ecuador team doctor about Valencia's mental state and insisted the former Wigan star was feeling positive about his recovery. It continued: "Contrary to recent reports, there has been no official contact from the Ecuadorean national team. "Antonio is perfectly fine, very positive and very determined." When Smith suffered his injury in a freak incident against Liverpool at Anfield, he was ruled out for seven months, claiming afterwards that his eventual return came too soon. A similar timescale would have Valencia back in action by April, although by that stage Ferguson might not want to be pushing the winger anyway. After an impressive first season at Old Trafford, Valencia had been hoping to make further improvement. Instead, he must battle to recover from such a setback, with Darren Fletcher among those who feel he will be back. "He is a strong character and a good lad. He has real determination and works hard. He will be back I am sure. "He will have a long future at Manchester United."
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