Owen Hargreaves had been expected to make his European bow for Manchester United in last night´s workmanlike 1-0 win over Roma - instead he faces another agonising month on the sidelines with a knee injury.

And Sir Alex Ferguson´s post-match revelation that the combative midfielder had needed an injection to treat tendinitis will have repercussions well beyond the confines of Old Trafford, with the 26-year-old seemingly certain to miss England´s forthcoming Euro 2008 qualifiers against Estonia and Russia.

Ferguson did at least offer the small crumb of comfort that Hargreaves should not need surgery but he was clearly downcast as he said: "Owen has had an injection in his knee and he´ll be out for three to four weeks."

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