Brown ruled out for over a month

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The Independent Football

Manchester United have confirmed defender Wes Brown will miss the next four to six weeks through injury.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson announced the news this afternoon but did not specify the nature of the problem.

Brown was known to have been nursing a foot injury picked up against Wolves on Saturday, and there were fears the England international had suffered a broken metatarsal.

The 30-year-old picked up the injury in a challenge with Wolves midfielder Matt Jarvis and left Molineux with a protective boot on the damaged foot.

The four-to-six-week timescale is at least good news for England, with Brown widely expected to be part of Fabio Capello's squad for the World Cup after playing at right-back against Egypt last week.

Brown is out of tomorrow's Champions League last-16 return leg against AC Milan, and will also miss Barclays Premier League games against Fulham, Liverpool, Bolton and a potential title-decider against Chelsea on April 3.

Brown, who broke a metatarsal bone just over a year ago, would then face a race against time to face Blackburn on April 11 and derby rivals Manchester City a week later.

Brown's absence further adds to Ferguson's woes ahead of tomorrow night's crucial European encounter, which will see United defending a 3-2 advantage from the first leg at the San Siro.

Anderson (knee), Ryan Giggs (arm) and John O'Shea (leg) are also out, although Ferguson confirmed the in-form Wayne Rooney would be available after a knee problem.

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