Captain Vidic has been out of action since rupturing cruciate ligaments in December, while Smalling required groin surgery that ruled him out of contention for Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2012 squad.
Fergie insisted: “Vidic will start the season, I am sure of that.
“He is still at the level of doing good amounts of training but not in the competitive sense that the others have done, so it was pointless bringing him out here [on pre-season tour].
“He is better being back at Carrington, with all the facilities and the physios to get him to the next level.
“By the time we get back, we hope he is at the competitive element of his comeback.
“Chris Smalling has done a bit of training. The ruptured groin muscle he had certainly needed a lot of attention. He is gradually progressing and I expect him to start the season.”
Jonny Evans, however, is unlikely to face Everton at Goodison Park in United’s Premier League opener after summer surgery on an ankle problem.
“Jonny has had an operation,” said Ferguson. “I am not sure he will start the season but he won’t be far away.”