Man Utd woes: Scholes out for season
Manchester United's season took another turn for the worse on Tuesday when the club revealed that Paul Scholes is unlikely to play again this season because of a mystery eye problem.
The 31-year-old former England international has missed United's last seven league and cup games with blurred vision, but was hoping to be back in action before the end of the month.
However, Scholes has now been told to rest for three months and is unlikely to appear again this season.
United, who are 14 points behind Chelsea in the table, released a statement confirming the midfielder needed to rest.
"Paul Scholes has a medical condition affecting the vision in his right eye," the statement said. "It is not a football related injury. This has been confirmed by a number of specialists who have all agreed that he needs to rest for a period of three months.
"Obviously it is a disappointment for Paul and Manchester United that he will miss the rest of this season.
"We look forward to having him back for pre-season training."
United are mystified by what is causing Scholes' condition. The scorer of 130 goals in 492 league and cup appearances for United complained of having difficulty seeing after the 2-2 draw at Birmingham City on December 28.
Last week, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson confessed that treatment by specialists had yet to uncover the root of the problem.
"The first message we had was that it would clear up okay, that maybe it was down to a bit of concussion," he said before United's 1-0 victory over Liverpool on Sunday.
"But his vision is still blurred, so we are sending him to another specialist to see if he can clear it up. Other than that, we have no firm medical opinion on what is wrong.
"We are guessing about it at the moment and the best thing to do is to send him somewhere else so they might give us a diagnosis we can treat.
"It has been quite a while and it is unusual. We have sent him to the best man in Manchester and he is world-renowned. He said, 'Why don't we send him somewhere else'. For Paul's benefit, a second opinion is always good."
Ferguson added that his player had no idea of how he came by the injury. "He must have banged his head but he cannot remember doing it."
Second-placed United are refusing to concede the title race despite Chelsea's huge lead, but the news about Scholes is a major setback for a club which has already been eliminated from the Champions League this season.
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