Kagawa blow for United ahead of big showdowns
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Manchester United's attacking midfielder Shinji Kagawa has been ruled out for up to four weeks with a knee injury, manager Alex Ferguson, said ahead of the clash against Premier League leaders Chelsea on Sunday. The Japanese international was substituted at halftime of United's 3-2 victory over Braga in the Champions League on Tuesday.
"It's a knee injury similar to the one (winger) Ashley Young had but not as bad. I think playing on with the injury did not help the situation for him, even though he did well to play on with it. It's disappointing for him," said Sir Alex of the injured player.
The injury means Kagawa will be unavailable not just for United's important weekend fixture, but also the match League Cup match against Chelsea three days later, and perhaps the EPL game against Arsenal early next month too. The midfielder will also miss Japan's World Cup qualifier away at Oman on Nov. 14.
While the absence of the midfielder might undermine Ferguson's diamond formation, he had good news on the defensive front, as defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are nearing a first team return after missing the start of the season through injury. United have gone behind eight times in 12 games this season, and though the pair may not be available for the Chelsea clash, their availability in the future will come as a relief for United.
"Smalling is back training on the football side of things," Ferguson added. "Phil Jones will hopefully start full training a week on Monday, so things are getting better on that front. Certainly getting Smalling back is a big bonus for us."
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