FOOTBALL NEWS

29/09/2008 17:57, Report by James Tuck, in Aalborg

Neville omission explained

Gary Neville is set to be limited to one game a week this season as Sir Alex Ferguson attempts to manage his club captain's return from injury.   

Neville, who missed most of 2007/08 with an ankle injury, played all of United's 2-0 win over Bolton on Saturday but was a notable absentee from the travelling squad who flew to Aalborg on Monday morning.

"Gary has a slight strain but he’ll be OK for Blackburn on Saturday," Ferguson confirmed.

"Given that he has come back from a long time off, we may manage him in a different way this season so that he does not play all the midweek games, or if he plays in midweek then he won’t play at the weekend."

As he did so successfully for much of last season, Wes Brown is likely to replace Neville in what Ferguson promises will be a strong United side against Aalborg.

The one other high-profile name missing from United's 20-strong squad for Tuesday's Champions League encounter is Owen Hargreaves, who suffered a recurrence of his knee injury before the Bolton game. 

"We have to manage Owen’s injury in a different way," Ferguson added. "He’s had all the treatment but his knee flares up now and again and there’s nothing we can do about it.

"The specialists say that in time it’ll go away and we hope they’re correct because he’s an important player to have: he’s a big-game player, he has experience and he’s adaptable in different positions."

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