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Sunday, 2 January, 2000, 11:09 GMT
Scholes misses United mission

Giggs, Butt and Yorke Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Dwight Yorke prepare for take-off


The Manchester United squad have begun their journey to Brazil to compete in the inaugural World Club Championship.

But Sir Alex Ferguson's team will be without injured midfielder Paul Scholes.

The club's decision to take part in the contest sparked controversy, as it meant it pulling out of the English FA Cup, a trophy it was due to defend.

World Club Championship
The team will play four games over nine days, the first of them on Thursday against the Mexican champions Rayos del Necaxa.

England international Scholes failed a fitness test and is now expected to have surgery for his hernia injury.

Youngster Mark Wilson has been called into United's squad as a replacement.

Refused operation

Scholes came off during the second half of the match against Bradford on Boxing Day, with his hernia apparently aggravated by sodden conditions at Old Trafford.


Paul Scholes Paul Scholes stayed at home as United flew out
He subsequently failed to even make the bench for Manchester United's 2-2 clash with Sunderland.

Scholes refused an operation in December, deciding that he could carry on without corrective surgery.

While his absence from the United squad travelling to Brazil will be a blow for the team, the news will be welcomed by England coach Kevin Keegan.

Any further delay in operating on the 25-year-old, who netted both goals in the play-off victory at Hampden against Scotland, would have hit Keegan's preparations for the Euro 2000 finals in Holland and Belgium.

Hard going

United are expected to play four games in the space of just nine days if, as expected, they progress to the final or third-place play-off and Ferguson is worried about his players becoming exhausted.

"It will be very warm weather out there from what I can gather," he said.

"It's 38 to 42C, which is very, very hot and that's the one concern I've got.

"We hope we can handle it and we're obviously taking all the support and medical advice we can get.

"We're taking plenty of equipment with us and we have to think about things like the players' fluid intake, their rest and making sure they don't get too much sun."

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See also:
20 Dec 99 |  World Club Championship
Man Utd: Bidding for unification
29 Dec 99 |  World Club Championship
Man Utd to get police guard
28 Dec 99 |  FA Carling Premiership
Man Utd never say die

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