Manchester United's Nemanja Vidic is doubtful for the crunch Premier League title race clash with Chelsea on Saturday because of a stomach virus.
Vidic visited a hospital with the problem on Tuesday and missed the 0-0 draw with Barcelona at the Nou Camp.
"Nemanja went 24, 36 hours without eating," said United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. "I don't think he'll be ready for Saturday - that's the situation.
"He had very severe stomach pains, so we sent him off to hospital."
United are three points clear of Chelsea with three games remaining, but would effectively clinch the title if they win at Stamford Bridge, given their superior goal difference.
Ferguson said Vidic had remained under observation until late in the night on Tuesday.
His situation improved on Wednesday but he was still not fit enough to play in the Champions League semi-final first leg.
Ferguson said after the Barcelona match: "He's back at the hotel taking plenty of fluids and had some soup this afternoon.
"That's promising, so let's hope we can get him there on Saturday.
"He will be desperate to play and if we do get him there it will be a bonus to us."
In the Serbian star's absence, the manager opted for a successful pairing of Wes Brown and Rio Ferdinand in central defence.United stayed in Barcelona on Thursday for a warm-weather training session before returning to Manchester ahead of the Chelsea match.
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