Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that Owen Hargreaves will miss the start of the season after suffering another setback following a series of knee problems.
The midfielder made only one substitute appearance in the last campaign after an 18-month absence through injury. It was hoped he could join United on their summer tour - they leave for their training camp in Chicago on Monday - but instead he is having further treatment.
Ferguson told MUTV: "The bad news is that Owen Hargreaves is back in America seeing a specialist. He will not be ready for the start of the season. I do not know when he will be back."
Ferguson also fears Rio Ferdinand will not be ready for the first game of the season against Newcastle.
The England defender suffered a knee injury in training ahead of the World Cup match with the United States and was unable to play in South Africa.
Ferguson said: "Rio will probably not make the start of the season. It will be close. It depends on his progress over the next few weeks."
While Ferguson is pleased with Michael Owen's progress following a hamstring injury the striker will skip the tour as he builds up his fitness.
Ferguson continued: "Michael is doing great. He is working in the gym every day. I do not think he will be fit to go to America but he should be ready for the start of the season."
Antonio Valencia and Nani are expected to available for the Newcastle match, according to the Old Trafford boss, after suffering an ankle injury and broken collarbone respectively, while Anderson is on course to return in September following a knee injury.
Ferguson added: "Cruciates are cruciates. He is doing fine and working hard."
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