Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson says captain Nemanja Vidic is unlikely to start against Swansea on Sunday.
The Serbian defender returned on Saturday from three months out with a knee injury, appearing as a substitute in the 3-1 win over Sunderland at Old Trafford.
However, Sir Alex has admitted that Vidic may not be ready to make his first start since September, despite impressing on the training ground.
“Vidic might not be ready to start,” he told reporters.
“Vida is doing great in training, it’s just a matter of picking the time to bring him back.”
But while Vidic is still in contention, United are certain to be without Rafael at right-back, though Sir Alex is confident he has the resources to deal with the Brazilian’s absence.
“Rafael is still out with a hamstring injury,” he added.
“But I have options (in the centre of defence) with (Chris) Smalling, (Phil) Jones, (Rio) Ferdinand and (Jonny) Evans.”
Ferguson also emphasised the need to rotate his squad, with United playing five games in the next 14 days, while he also praised Swansea in anticipation of a tough clash.
He added: “Utilising the squad will be important, as will picking the right team, but hopefully we can get through it and be in the same position as we are now.
“You’ve seen the results they (Swansea) have had and the progress they have made as a football club over the last years. The important thing for me is they try to play and have the courage to play their football, which is good.”