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Wednesday, 4 September, 2002, 02:07 GMT 03:07 UK
Keane set for speedy recovery
Roy Keane may be back in action by December
Keane is a talismanic figure for Manchester United
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson hopes to have his skipper Roy Keane back in action within six weeks.

The Republic of Ireland international underwent a hip operation on Tuesday that had been expected to sideline him for three months.

But Ferguson now expects his influential midfielder to be fit to play again in October.

"He has had the operation," Ferguson confirmed after United's 1-0 Premiership win over Middlesbrough.

"We expect him to be out in about six weeks. We thought it was maybe a three-month job, but hopefully it is going to be six weeks,"

Keane is already facing a three-match ban after being sent off for elbowing Jason McAteer in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Sunderland.

And he could be handed an additional Football Association suspension for comments made in his autobiography about a horror tackle on Alf-Inge Haaland in April 2001.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson revealed on Monday that he thought the time was right for his inspirational skipper to sit out.

Keane will miss several Premiership games, but he should be back in time to face title rivals Liverpool and Arsenal in December.

Meanwhile, Keane's book-signing appearances in Ireland will be rescheduled.

The former Republic skipper was to have been in his home city of Cork on Thursday 5 September, in Dublin the following day and Belfast on Monday 9 September.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's John Murray
"Keane's injury gets the FA out of a tricky situation"
BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson
"Roy needs to engage his brain"
Premier League chief Richard Scudamore
"Disciplinary action cannot be suspended"
 VOTE RESULTS
Should the FA throw the book at Roy Keane?

Yes
 74.70% 

No
 25.30% 

31713 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion
Roy Keane faces a three-match suspension for his red card at Sunderland

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02 Sep 02 | Eng Prem
03 Sep 02 | Man Utd
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