Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has concerns over his central defensive stocks.

It means midfielder Michael Carrick could emerge as emergency cover as he again filled in at the back during the goalless draw on Wednesday night against Barcelona.

"Evans is recovering from an operation," stated Sir Alex. "Smalling is out for three months. Jones got a muscle injury in his back and was sent home from Norway.

"So the area we're concerned about is centre-back. Evans won't be ready for the start of the season. He won't be far away but he won't be ready.

"Smalling is out and I can't give you an update with Jones because we've not fully diagnosed that. But Michael Carrick was absolutely brilliant [in Sweden] with his passing the ball and his interceptions. He was fantastic."

For all the latest football news go to <a href="http://www.tribalfootball.com">tribalfootball.com</a>.

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