Manchester United FC will be without Ole Gunnar Solskjær for three months after he underwent knee surgery yesterday.
Solskjær played in last week's UEFA Champions League win against Panathinaikos FC but had been troubled by the injury since pre-season and it was decided to send him for an operation immediately, as happened with captain Roy Keane, for instance, last season. It is hoped the decision will ensure his return for the second half of the campaign.
Misses Norway date
Solskjær will also miss Norway's final UEFA EURO 2004™ Group 2 qualifier against Luxembourg on 11 October. On the club front, the 30-year-old's absence weakens United as he had done an impressive job on the right-hand side of midfield since the departure of David Beckham to Real Madrid CF.
Strength in depth
However, manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes his squad has the depth to cope with Solskjær's absence, even if it puts more emphasis on the fitness of playmaker Paul Scholes, currently struggling with a hernia problem. "We've adopted the same policy as last season, where anything that needs to be done this early we get it done," Ferguson said.
'Blow for us'
"It is a blow for us and now the transfer window has closed, there is nothing I can do about it. But I do feel we have a good enough squad to cope. We have alternatives like Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Forlán and Darren Fletcher so we'll just get on with it."
©UEFA.com 1998-2016. All rights reserved.