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Hargreaves ruled out for start of season after another injury setback

| 09.07.2010

Owen Hargreaves’ career looks in danger of never restarting after he suffered a fresh injury scare that will rule him out of the season’s opening.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson revealed that the England midfielder has flown to Colorado to see Dr Richard Steadman, the man in charge of curing Hargreaves’ chronic tendonitis in both knees, instead of joining the club’s pre-season tour of America.

“I don’t know when he’ll be back,” Ferguson said.

The news will come as a major blow to the club – 7/4 second-favourites to win the Premier League – who were in need of Hargreaves’ tough tackling and relentless work rate in the middle of the pitch at times last season.

Ferguson could now reckon the former Bayern Munich player’s future at United is bleak and, with Brazilian Anderson stalling last term, may want to find a replacement. Such a player would be a neccesity if Ferguson is to win a third Champions League with the club, currently a 6/1 chance.

The boss also revealed that Rio Ferdinand might not make the Red Devil’s opening game of the season against Newcastle United through injury.

“It will be close,” Ferguson said. “It depends on his progress over the next few weeks.”

With the England defender out and Nemanja Vidic rumoured to want away, much could depend on Chris Smalling, the youngster who signed from Fulham in January. A 1-1 draw in the match with Newcastle United is a 12/1 shot.

Up front, Michael Owen is set to miss United’s tour but should be ready come August, while assistant manager Mike Phelan has tipped Javier Hernandez to shine. The Mexican was impressive at the World Cup and his new club are 5/1 to win the Newcastle game 2-0.

Someone who looks unlikely to be a United player this season is Wesley Sneijder. At 3/1 the Dutchman is a good bet for the World Cup Golden Shoe, but said yesterday his heart belonged to Inter.

How will Hargreaves’ new injury affect the Manchester United team? They are 11/1 to lose their first fixture against Newcastle. See the full Premier League betting market.



John Klee