Has Injury Saved Anderson's Manchester United Career?

nigel smithCorrespondent IFebruary 26, 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 19:  Anderson of Manchester United gestures to teammates during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Manchester United at Craven Cottage on December 19, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)
Phil Cole/Getty Images


Manchester United midfielder, Anderson, will miss the World Cup and is out for six months after suffering a cruciate ligament injury against West Ham.


"It's unfortunate for the boy, a bad blow," manager Sir Alex Ferguson told the press after United's 3–0 victory over the Hammers.

"He stretched to pass the ball and his knee just popped. It's a bad bit of bad news for him because he was just getting back into the first team after being out for a few weeks. He was looking forward to it and he was showing great energy in the match.

"He needs an operation and that will be done in two weeks' time when the swelling has gone down. Hopefully, six months should have him about right for the new season. But it is a blow to us, particularly with the Milan game coming up, because Michael Carrick is suspended for that one."

Anderson, once described by his manager as a "world class" midfielder after a string of impressive displays early in his United career, had only just forced his way back into first team contention.


His return followed a bust-up with Sir Alex after a January Carling Cup semifinal defeat, which saw him flee to Brazil.


Newspaper gossip claimed that United were ready to trade the midfielder for Lyon's goalkeeper after tiring of the Brazilian's alleged attitude problems.


Anderson's temperament for elite football was questioned in the aftermath of United's Champions League embarrassment against Barcelona last May.


The departure of Cristiano Ronaldo last June was expected to allow Anderson to flourish as a United first team player.


That unfortunately has not happened.


Anderson has failed to develop at United and has flitted in and out of the first team this season. The midfielder has started in just ten Premier League matches this term and scored one goal.


As painful as the injury may be to Anderson, it has probably extended his United career, if only temporarily.


He will need at least another year at the club to complete his recovery.


It must be hoped that during his time away from first team action, Anderson finds the maturity that will allow the Brazilian to fulfill his rich promise.