- Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic is ruled out for the rest of this season
- Defender damaged knee ligaments during Wednesday's 2-1 defeat to Basel
- Manager Alex Ferguson says Serbia international will see a specialist on Monday
- Vidic joins a growing list of injured players at Old Trafford
Two days after an embarrassingly early European Champions League exit, Manchester United have been dealt a further blow with the news that club captain Nemanja Vidic will miss the rest of this season.
The defender was stretchered off during Wednesday's 2-1 defeat to Basel in Switzerland, a result which saw last season's finalists exit Europe's premier club competition at the group stage for the first time in six years.
The Serbia international has ruptured cruciate ligaments in his knee, and manager Alex Ferguson said the 30-year-old will see a specialist on Monday to reveal the full extent of the injury.
"We thought it was a bad one," the Scot told reporters on Friday. "He's out for the season. It's not unexpected but it's still bad news."
The 19-time English champions are second in the Premier League, five points behind arch-rivals Manchester City ahead of Saturday's home match against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Vidic's injury limits United's options in central defense, with experienced England international Rio Ferdinand to partner Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans or one of versatile young duo Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.
"He'll see a specialist on Monday to work out the progress of when he has the operation," confirmed Ferguson. "It won't be immediate as we have to let the swelling come down.
"We'll now have to choose between Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling. I thought Rio had his best game of season on Wednesday. His experience will be vital."
Vidic is part of a growing injury list at Old Trafford, with Mexico striker Javier Hernandez also sidelined after damaging an ankle during last week's 1-0 win over Aston Villa.
Midfielders Anderson and Tom Cleverley, Brazilian twins Fabio and Rafael da Silva, and veteran striker Michael Owen are also out.
However, Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov could return for Saturday's clash with Mick McCarthy's 16th-placed Wolves.