His manager’s claim that John O’Shea might miss the rest of Manchester United’s season due to the dead leg he suffered against France in Paris – that gave rise to clotting and calcification complications – had cold water poured on it by the man himself at the weekend.
Calling it “a terrible injury”, Alex Ferguson said it was “a bad blow for the boy and for the team because he can play anywhere. When you look at all the problems I’ve had with the back four this season, he could have played every single one.”
However, Fergie’s prognosis, which could be construed as fishing for transfer funds, was a bit bleaker than the reality, said O’Shea at Saturday’s Park Hotel Awards in Dungarvan, reckoning he’ll be back in six weeks or so.
Such an innocuous-looking knock could have had dire consequences, mind. Seven years ago then-Spurs defender Christian Ziege almost had to have a limb amputated after a similar bang caused his thigh muscle to swell to twice its normal size. ‘Decompartmentalisation’ can actually be fatal if not operated on in time. Which would be the ultimate dead leg.
Meanwhile, O’Shea’s team-mate and close friend Wayne Rooney is showing the sort of form that could make England contenders (again) in South Africa. It’s hard to believe it’s nearly four years since Theo Walcott was Sven’s ‘secret weapon’ heading to Germany. The Arsenal attacker’s progress has been more stop than start since, though he’s still only 20. Fact is that with his club colleague Cesc Fabregas fast-approaching the status of world’s most complete player, and Fernando Torres the striker every other nation/club envies, it’s European champions and previous perennial underachievers Spain who must be rated favourites to go all the way this summer.