Injured United winger is better off at home

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Sir Alex Ferguson is taking all the precautions necessary to ensure Antonio Valencia is fit for the start of the new season, after the Manchester United winger suffered an injury scare on international duty.

Valencia sustained an knock on the same ankle which he broke so horrifically last season during Ecuador's opening Copa America fixture and there had been fears he may be sidelined for a lengthy period of time.

However, Ferguson has allayed fears that the 25-year-old has a serious complaint, although the United boss has confirmed Valencia will continue his rehabilitation in Manchester, rather than joining up with the rest of the squad in the USA.

"He wasn't going to be taking part in the rest of Copa America, so there is no point in him coming out here if he is injured," said the United boss. "We have the facilities back at Carrington. That is the best place for him."

Valencia missed six months of the last campaign following the serious injury he sustained during a Champions League encounter with Rangers at Old Trafford in September.

He did, however, make a significant impact upon his eventual return, playing an integral role as United secured a record 19th league crown.


And Valencia will now have an even greater incentive to recover in time for the new campaign, with summer acquisition Ashley Young set to contest the Ecuadorian for a starting berth.

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Antonio Valencia
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