Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed he expects Owen Hargreaves to be out of action for up to five weeks with the hamstring injury he suffered against Wolves on Saturday whilst a virus that has swept the Manchester United camp threatens to wreck preperations for derby-day.
Making his first senior Manchester United start since September 2008, Hargreaves lasted just five minutes before he pulled up indicating he had suffered a problem and had to be replaced by Bebe.
Now Ferguson has revealed the 29-year-old will be out of action until the middle of next month, although it is possible Hargreaves could play some part in the Christmas programme.
"We were at the stage where we knew Owen's knee was okay," Ferguson told Key 103.
"His training performances for eight or nine days previously had been terrific.
"He had done really well, which is why we took the chance.
"But maybe the tension in the build-up for the lad was too much and he suffered because of it."
Sir Alex Ferguson is crossing his fingers that the virus that has swept the Manchester United camp since their return from Turkey last week does not wreck their bid for a derby-day win over City tomorrow.
After losing several key players for the weekend win over Wolves, Ferguson had to send more home from training yesterday and admits he has no idea what the make up of his side to face Roberto Mancini's men at Eastlands will be.
In addition, Ryan Giggs and Owen Hargreaves (both hamstring) are definitely out, while Nani (groin) is rated extremely doubtful to recover from the injury he suffered in Turkey last week.
Team (from): Van der Sar, Kuszczak, Rafael, Brown, O'Shea, Ferdinand, Vidic, Smalling, Evans, Evra, Fabio, Obertan, Bebe, Carrick, Gibson, Scholes, Fletcher, Anderson, Nani, Park, Berbatov, Hernandez, Macheda.Reuse content