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Page last updated at 14:11 GMT, Friday, 30 January 2009

Hargreaves 'fit for next season'

Owen Hargreaves
Hargreaves has been injury-plagued since joining United

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson says Owen Hargreaves should be fit for the start of next season after undergoing knee surgery.

The 27-year-old midfielder made just three appearances this season before needing surgery on both knees to cure a long-standing tendinitis problem.

"Owen had a second operation last week and it was completely successful. This one is completely clear," he said.

"I am certain he'll be ready for the start of next season."


The England international has been restricted to just 37 appearances for United since his £17m move from Bayern Munich in July 2007.

The operations were carried out under the guidance of leading American knee surgeon Richard Steadman, who has previously operated on Alan Shearer, Michael Owen and Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Hargreaves missed the start of the 2007/08 season only to return after Christmas and play a prominent role in United's Champions League and Premier League triumphs.

But the problem flared up again in the summer and he made just three appearances before he was ruled out for the season.

His latest injury setback also means he will play no part in England's 2010 World Cup qualifiers in Spring 2009.

The news of Hargreaves's return will be a welcome boost for Ferguson, who has had a long injury list to deal with this season.

Of Manchester United's short-term absentees, striker Wayne Rooney, defender Patrice Evra and winger Nani could all be back for the trip to West Ham on 8 February.

If Rooney is back from his hamstring injury by then, it would also improve his chances of being available for England's game against Spain on 11 February.

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see also
Hargreaves visits top US surgeon
07 Nov 08 |  Man Utd
Hargreaves promises Man Utd more
19 Aug 08 |  Man Utd
Fuller to see top knee specialist
18 Jun 08 |  Stoke
Park undergoes knee surgery in US
27 Apr 07 |  Man Utd
Sport's Mr Fix-it
25 Jan 07 |  Sport Homepage

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