Hargreaves Injury Doubts

  • 14 November 2007

Reds midfielder Owen Hargreaves has been ruled out of England's friendly with Austria in Vienna on Friday. However, he could still play for his country against Croatia next week in the potentially crucial Euro 2008 qualifier at Wembley.

The 26-year-old midfielder has only just returned to action from a tendonitis problem in his knee, which required an injection.

Hargreaves played in the 2-0 win over Blackburn at the weekend, but is reported to still be suffering some discomfort.

England coach Steve McClaren has discussed the situation with Reds boss Sir Alex Ferguson, and it was decided Hargreaves should stay in Manchester for treatment, although it would appear this more a precautionary measure than another flare-up of the problem.

Hargreaves is still seen as a crucial figure for England's Euro 2008 qualifier against Croatia at Wembley on Wednesday, which suggests that the injury is not serious.

"Owen Hargreaves is recovering from a long-term injury," said an FA spokesman. "Having discussed it with Manchester United, it was felt he should remain in Manchester for treatment until the weekend, with the emphasis on his fitness for the Croatia qualifier."

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