Solskjær sidelined until Christmas

Manchester United FC striker Ole Gunnar Solskjær will be out of action for three months after knee surgery.

Persistent problem

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."