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Owen Hargreaves is not fit says Manchester United boss

Owen Hargreaves
Hargreaves' last appearance was as a late substitute at Sunderland in May

Sir Alex Ferguson says Owen Hargreaves will not play for Manchester United this weekend despite suggestions from the midfielder's surgeon that he will.

The 29-year-old has struggled with a chronic knee problem for two years.

On Wednesday his surgeon Dr Richard Steadman told BBC Sport: "Owen should play some part on Saturday."

However, United boss Ferguson retorted: "Owen is not ready. We are having difficulties with the doctor coming out with statements that are not accurate."

He added: "It is not fair to the player for him to say Owen is going to be playing tomorrow.

"It is ridiculous. I pick the team and I have been doing it for quite a while.

"We have this small interference, which is causing some confusion. He is out with a calf injury."

England international Hargreaves underwent surgery on each of his knees at Steadman's clinic in Vail, Colorado, in 2008 and his recovery has been beset by problems.

606: DEBATE

His last appearance for United came in May, when he played for the final three minutes of the Premier League match against Sunderland.

Hargreaves was expected to be fit for the start of this season but suffered a setback during the summer and had to return to Colorado for further work with Steadman.

The surgeon conceded: "It's been a long road back and there have been some setbacks along the way.

"But I've got a lot of admiration for the way Owen has responded - he's worked very hard and has never given up. Things are looking good for him now.

Hargreaves joined United from Bayern Munich in July 2007 but his last start for the Old Trafford outfit came in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea in September 2008.

Meanwhile, Ferguson refused to be drawn into a war of words with his striker Wayne Rooney ahead of Saturday's home game against West Brom.

Rooney contradicted Ferguson after playing in England's 0-0 Euro 2012 qualifying draw against Montenegro by claiming he has not had an ankle injury this season.

Ferguson took Rooney off during last month's 2-2 draw at Bolton and left him out of games at Valencia and Sunderland citing an injury to the 24-year-old.

However, the Scot added: "It is water off a duck's back to me.

"I don't know where all these things come from. The boy is always in the spotlight and being addressed by the press. It is important how you handle it in my experience.

"But it just runs off me. It doesn't mean anything."



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see also
Man Utd 2-2 West Brom
16 Oct 10 |  Premier League
Rooney denies ankle injury claim
13 Oct 10 |  Man Utd
Hargreaves training with Man Utd
24 Sep 10 |  Man Utd
Hargreaves rocked by new injury
08 Jul 10 |  Man Utd
Hargreaves to play through pain
24 Mar 10 |  Man Utd
Hargreaves makes reserve comeback
18 Mar 10 |  Man Utd
Hargreaves visits top US surgeon
07 Nov 08 |  Man Utd
Hargreaves completes Man Utd move
01 Jul 07 |  Man Utd


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