Paul Scholes will be out of action for up to ten weeks after suffering medial ligament damage in Manchester United’s 3-0 Champions League win over Aalborg.
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson had estimated that he without the midfielder for six to eight weeks, but the club’s medical staff confirmedthat a longer lay-off is expected.
The loss of Scholes represents a major headache for Ferguson who is already without Michael Carrick for at least another month, while Owen Hargreaves appears to have suffered a recurrence of the knee problems that plagued his first season at Old Trafford.
Scholes, 33, will miss all of United’s four remaining matches in their Champions League group as well as Premier League away games at Everton, Arsenal and Manchester City.
There was no update from United on the extent of the ankle injury which forced Wayne Rooney off the pitch on Tuesday evening.
The England forward was taken off as a precaution after taking a knock but Ferguson admitted afterwards he was concerned that there may have been ligament damage.
Rooney has been declared doubtful for United’s trip to Blackburn on Saturday. If he misses that match then his participation in England’s October 11 and 15 World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Belarus could be in doubt.