Vidic blow leaves Manchester United with defensive shortfall
September 25, 2012 -- Updated 2248 GMT (0648 HKT)
Nemanja Vidic had only just returned to first team action after being ruled out for the second half of last season.
- Nemanja Vidic ruled out for two months with fresh knee injury
- Leaves Manchester United short of defensive options
- John Terry plays in Chelsea's English League Cup rout of Wolves
- EPL champions Manchester City beaten by Aston Villa
(CNN) -- Manchester United were dealt a serious blow Tuesday as captain and key central defender Nemanja Vidic was ruled out for at least two months with a knee problem.
The Serbian star missed the final five months of last season after rupturing his cruciate ligament and a fresh problem has emerged on the same knee.
"Nemanja Vidic has had a meniscus operation on his right knee and will be out for around eight weeks," read a statement on the club's official website.
The new injury setback for the 31-year-old could not have come at a more unfavorable time for the English Premier League giants, who are also missing a number of key defenders ahead of vital league and Champions League clashes.
Collymore on John Terry quitting
England internationals Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are currently sidelined, the former with the same problem as Vidic, leaving manager Alex Ferguson with only two fit regular central defenders.
That includes Jonny Evans, who picked up a minor injury in the 2-1 victory over Liverpool at Anfield Sunday which left United in second place in the early standings.
United's neighbors and EPL champions Manchester City suffered a shock 4-2 home defeat Tuesday to Aston Villa in the English League Cup.
City were twice ahead through Mario Balotelli and Aleksandar Kolarov, but two goals from Gabriel Agbonlahor, allied to an own goal from Gareth Barry and an extra time strike from Charles N'Zogbia saw Villa into the fourth round.
Meanwhile, league leaders Chelsea continued their fine start to the domestic campaign with a thumping 6-0 home win over second-flight Wolves.
John Terry, who quit the England captaincy just ahead of his FA hearing into charges that he made a racial slur in an EPL match last season, lined up for the match at Stamford Bridge.
Gary Cahill put Chelsea ahead after just four minutes and it was one-way traffic throughout with Fernando Torres scoring in the second half and new Victor Moses rounding off the scoring.
In an all-EPL clash, Wigan won 4-1 at West Ham after the home side had taken an early lead while high flying Everton were shocked 2-1 at Leeds to make a surprise exit.
Part of complete coverage on
Be part of CNN's coverage of European Champions League matches and join the social debate.
December 6, 2013 -- Updated 1134 GMT (1934 HKT)
The dreams of 32 footballing nations can begin at Friday's 2014 World Cup draw. It will be more complicated than most -- so click here for the lowdown.
CNN's Alex Thomas takes a brave punt on the 2014 champion ahead of Friday's World Cup draw.
December 5, 2013 -- Updated 1835 GMT (0235 HKT)
Pele has backed Brazil to deliver a "fantastic" World Cup amid growing fears the country will not be ready in time to host football's showpiece event.
December 4, 2013 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
Adidas unveils official match ball, the Brazuca, and CEO Herbert Hainer discusses the tech behind it.
November 29, 2013 -- Updated 2209 GMT (0609 HKT)
Zahir Belounis contemplated suicide as he was stuck in Qatar for two years. But the footballer says it still deserves to host the 2022 World Cup.
November 29, 2013 -- Updated 1708 GMT (0108 HKT)
As he celebrates his 40th birthday, just what is the secret to Ryan Giggs' longevity?
Two Belgian "brain coaches" are helping transform AC Milan from big-spender to developer of young talent, says CNN's John Sinnott.
October 22, 2013 -- Updated 1457 GMT (2257 HKT)
Shootings, attempted assassinations and intimidation - welcome to Libyan football in 2013.
October 18, 2013 -- Updated 1129 GMT (1929 HKT)
Zahir Belounis' limbo existence is almost at an end. After a two-year nightmare, he has been told he will finally receive his Qatari exit visa.
October 10, 2013 -- Updated 1101 GMT (1901 HKT)
France's multicultural stars shone brightest at the World Cup 15 years ago -- now could it be Belgium's turn to do the same in Brazil next year?
Adnan Januzaj and Diego Costa have highlighted a major dilemma for international football, says CNN's John Sinnott.
CNN's Alex Thomas reports from FIFA HQ after the ruling body delayed its decision on the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
FIFA's credibility rides on finding a solution to the Qatar World Cup controversy, says CNN's Ben Wyatt.
October 2, 2013 -- Updated 1534 GMT (2334 HKT)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic may have cost Paris Saint-Germain $30 million, but you can get your own chunk of the Swedish striker for just $41.
Today's five most popular stories