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banner Thursday, 25 October, 2001, 13:21 GMT 14:21 UK
Johnsen's long lay-off
Injured Ronny Johnsen trudges off against Deportivo
Injured Ronny Johnsen trudges off against Deportivo
Manchester United defender Ronny Johnsen could be out of action for up to four months following his latest injury setback.

Johnsen underwent surgery in Oslo after injuring his knee in United's home defeat against Deportivo La Coruna in the Champions League first group stage on 17 October.

It was initially thought Johnsen had suffered a hamstring injury and would be out for just a month.

But the centre-half's problem has proved more serious.

The Norwegian international's recurring knee problems have seen him play just 27 matches since the Champions League final in 1999.

Ronny Johnsen strides out for Manchester United
Johnsen is out of contract at the end of the season
However, United insist they are not losing patience with the 33-year-old.

Johnsen's contract expires at the end of the season and he will be desperate for playing time to prove he still has something to offer at Old Trafford.

Manchester United discarded Jesper Blomqvist last summer after the Swede missed much of the two previous years with knee injuries.

But United have stopped short of suggesting Johnsen awaits a similar fate.

A February return should allow Johnsen sufficient opportunity to press for a new contract, an issue United hadn't planned to broach until the end of the season anyway.

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