Injury and suspension updates
Some significant injury news to report as PSV’s standout defender Alex will miss at least six weeks with a hamstring injury. Alex picked up the injury as he was attempting to kick the ball in a league match against Excelsior. He is unlikely to feature before the end of the Eredivise season and will miss both legs of the tie against Liverpool.
Bayern Munich midfielder Mark van Bommel will miss both legs of their Champions League quarter-final against AC Milan after UEFA handed him a two-match ban following his sending off in the last round. Van Bommel was dismissed after receiving a second yellow card towards the end of Bayern’s 2-1 win at the Allianz Arena last week. That would normally only bring a one-match ban but UEFA said in a statement on its website it was doubling the punishment by enforcing a deferred sanction for the offensive gestures he made to the crowd in the first leg.
Also ruled out for the season is Manchester United defender Mikael Silvestre who dislocated his shoulder during last week’s Champions League win over Lille. The United camp is rife with injuries at the moment as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Louis Saha are both out until the end of the month while Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic were both ruled out of last night’s charity game against Marcello Lippi’s European XI, which United won 4-3. Ferdinand had scans on a rib problem and Vidic needed to have blood drained from his nose. Both are likely to start against Bolton on Saturday but keeper Edwin van der Sar will miss out again after suffering a calf strain in the warm up before the Middlesbrough game at Old Trafford.
Last night’s charity match at Old Trafford was another opportunity for the Red Devil’s brilliant 22-year-old winger Cristiano Ronaldo to show off his full range of his skills. Topping off a package that included a showing of his quick feet, stepovers, strong running, and flicked passes, Ronaldo thumped home a magnificent free kick that bent and swerved into the top corner with such pace that Valencia’s Santiago Canizares didn’t even move. You can catch some fuzzy footage of the match over on YouTube.