Jonny Evans has revealed he will probably need an operation to solve an ankle problem that has plagued him since Christmas.
It has not been decided when the young Manchester United defender will have surgery but Evans knows he cannot carry on playing with pain-killers forever.
"At some point my ankle will need surgery,'' said the 22-year-old.
"It is a problem that has been bothering me since Christmas.
"We thought it might have gone away over the summer but it is still there.
"Every now and again I catch it and it will be quite sore for a while. Then the pain dies off after a week or so.''
As a short-term measure, the anaesthetic seems to be working.
However, the return of Vidic after he suffered a calf injury prior to a pre-season game in Munich, plus the availability of Wes Brown, means the Belfast-born defender may not be required against Wigan at the DW Stadium tomorrow.
Ferdinand is out, though, with Evans acknowledging the 30-year-old's absence for another four weeks is a major blow.
"Rio is a good leader, a very good defender and a great player,'' he said.
"He is a big character who brings a lot to the team when he is playing.''
United will have to manage without him as they look to get their domestic campaign back on track after Wednesday's defeat at Burnley.
As someone who was part of the Northern Ireland side that humbled eventual winners Spain at Windsor Park during the last European Championship qualifiers, Evans knows what it is like to be on the other end of a major shock.
And it has led to a bit of introspection around the Red Devils' Carrington training complex as Ferguson's team look to put matters right.
"The players all look at themselves,'' said Evans.
"They are winners. They hate losing training games so it is no different in Premier League matches.
"They all know how the manager is feeling and how the fans are feeling. But it hurts the players too.''
Wigan suffered a setback themselves earlier this week when they went down to newly-promoted Wolves.
However, new manager Roberto Martinez announced his arrival last weekend with a splendid victory at Aston Villa, which included a wonder goal from Hugo Rodallega.
The Colombian is not exactly unknown to Evans.
He scored against United at the back end of last season, part of a performance so accomplished it prompted Evans to put him in his fantasy league team.
"Rodallega wasn't really known last year but a few people are looking at him a bit more now after his goal at the weekend,'' he said.
"In fact, a lot of people are taking an interest in Martinez for the work he did at Swansea and the way they played football.
"You don't really see that so much in the Championship but I am sure he will try to bring that same style to Wigan.''