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Page last updated at 12:31 GMT, Monday, 18 May 2009 13:31 UK

Man Utd hit by injury to Foster

Ben Foster
Foster's heroics helped United win the Carling Cup this year

Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Foster has been ruled out for the remainder of the season because of a thumb injury.

The England international has had surgery on a ruptured ligament in his right thumb and will miss the Champions League final against Barcelona.

The 26-year-old will be out for at least nine weeks.

"It is a big blow for Ben as he will miss the Champions League final but also England's summer matches," Sir Alex Ferguson told the club website.

Foster, who missed most of last season following cruciate ligament surgery, also suffered an ankle ligament injury just a few weeks into this season in September.

Ronaldo & Rooney

He has made nine appearances for the Reds during this campaign, including the Carling Cup victory against Tottenham, when Foster performed brilliantly in the penalty shoot-out.

"Ben has tried to continue the season with this injury but it got so critical that an operation was the only way forward," Ferguson added.

"It is disappointing for him but the important thing was to get this operation done."

It means Foster will be unavailable for the Champions League final against Barcelona in Rome on 27 May, as well as England's World Cup qualifiers with Kazakhstan and Andorra on 6 and 10 June respectively.

Foster joined the club in July 2005 but was loaned out to Watford, where he spent two seasons in the first team before coming back to United last summer.

Foster has battled Edwin van der Sar and Tomasz Kuszczak for the keeper's jersey at Old Trafford throughout the season.

He said in March he had no plans to quit United, despite admitting not moving could compromise his international prospects.

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see also
Foster wants future with Man Utd
25 Mar 09 |  Internationals
Man Utd 0-0 Arsenal
18 May 09 |  Premier League
Ferguson hungry for four in a row
16 May 09 |  Man Utd
Man Utd hit by new Foster injury
19 Sep 08 |  Man Utd

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