The Real Footie Analyst

Owen Hargreaves may have played last game for Manchester United

Owen Hargreaves may have played his last game for Manchester United. The club’s manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, said on Friday that the midfielder almost certainly will not be fit before the end of the season.

The England international has endured chronic injury problems since his arrival from Bayern Munich in 2007. Although he was a member of United’s Premier League and Champions League-winning squads in his debut season, he had to battle through major tendinitis problems in both knees, which eventually required surgery. Hargreaves managed only seconds on the field last season and he lasted just five minutes of a surprise start against Wolves at Old Trafford this year, before pulling his hamstring. Now the 30-year-old has sustained a shoulder injury from which Ferguson does not believe he will recover. Hargreaves’ contract is due to expire in the summer.

“I don’t see it at all,” said Ferguson, when asked if Hargreaves would play this season. “It is a shoulder injury. It has just brought his season to an end. He has just carried bad luck all the time he has been here. I am pretty sure he won’t be playing this season. His contract is up at the end of the season but I don’t know what is going to happen. [The United chief executive] David Gill had a discussion with the boy last week. But no more than that. We have to make a decision.”

Hargreaves was never going to be in contention for Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City at Wembley. Wayne Rooney and Jonny Evans are both missing through suspension and Ferguson said that the Scotland midfielder Darren Fletcher was still a couple of weeks away from returning to the team – a chronic virus has kept him out since the defeat at Liverpool on 6 March.

“Darren Fletcher is back in training now,” said Ferguson. “He is not doing a lot but he has put the weight back on, which is good. He is a couple of weeks away.”

Ferguson otherwise has a fit squad for one of the most significant derbies in recent memory, with the midfielder Anderson pushing for a start after coming through a midweek reserve-team match.

“He is much better now,” said Ferguson. “We thought the Chelsea game [the Champions League quarter-final second leg on Tuesday] would be too much for him because we knew what the pace was likely to be. Tomorrow should be a very exciting game. It is a derby match in London, which is unusual in itself. But we have great momentum at the moment. We are playing well and confidence is high and we are looking forward to it.”

(The Guardian)

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