Valencia to miss most of the season
United are hopeful Antonio Valencia will return from injury before the end of the season. An operation on the fracture and dislocation to Ecuador winger's ankle was yesterday described as successful, though a club statement also added that he would be out for a good portion of the season. But United were quick dismiss any suggestion that Valencia would suffer any long-term psychological effects as a result of the horror injury he suffered in the Champions League opener against Rangers on Tuesday night. The 25-year-old's national team doctor, Hector Bohorquez, claimed the player would need counselling as part of his recovery process, saying: He will need constant psychological support to help him cope. These types of injury create a great impact upon players, when they see their bones come apart. The inner and outer malleolus bones in his ankle will be affected by the type of impact he suffered. United responded: Contrary to recent reports, there has been no official contact from the Ecuadorian national team. Antonio is perfectly fine, very positive and very determined. The operation went well, a plate has been inserted to stabilise the fracture but there is obviously significant ligament damage that follows a dislocation. He will be out for a good portion of the season. Sir Alex Ferguson had initially feared Valencia would be out of the rest of the season, likening the injury to one suffered by Alan Smith in 2006. Smith suffered his injury in a freak incident against Liverpool and 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 will not want to push the issue.
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