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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 15 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Sep 29, 2006

Man Utd's metatarsal curse strikes Silvestre

MANCHESTER, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Manchester United defender Mikael Silvestre will not play again until the middle of November because of a foot injury, United's assistant-manager Carlos Queiroz said on Friday.

Silvestre was taken off in United's defeat by Arsenal on September 17 with scans subsequently confirming that he has damaged a metatarsal.

Queiroz told reporters: 'His injury was a little bit more serious than we thought at the beginning. He will be out for six weeks, no less.'

Silvestre, 29, will miss the next phase of United's Premier League and Champions League campaigns and also France's next two European Championship qualifying games.

United striker Wayne Rooney, however, will return to international action with England next weekend after completing a two-match ban for his sending off against Portugal in the World Cup finals.

Queiroz hopes that the 20-year-old will rediscover the form that has been lacking this season following lengthy absences through injury and suspension.

Queiroz said: 'He finished the training session and stayed for a while working alone because he knows that he needs to do something.

'But game after game when those things start to go right the motivation and the confidence will start to grow and then he will establish his own game.

'We believe this will happen in the next games and also going with the national team next week we expect will give him another lift to improve his performance.'

United take on Newcastle United at Old Trafford on Sunday when they will be protecting an unbeaten 33-year-old home record against the Tynesiders.

Queiroz expects an entertaining game but said that taking maximum points will be the priority after a defeat and a draw in their last two league games have allowed Chelsea to take over at the top of the table.

He said: 'Since I have been here and some games I have watched on television Manchester United against Newcastle always seem to be great games,' he said.

'They are spectacular games with a lot of goals and no matter which players are playing on Sunday for Newcastle or for us, it will be showtime.

'We have talked a lot about how important it is not to drop points at the beginning of the season, especially with the experience we have had in the last two seasons.

'At the moment it's not important for me to think about Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. What is important is that we can't afford to drop points.'

Louis Saha and Darren Fletcher have slight knocks but are expected to recover in time to face a Newcastle side that will not be allowed to use on-loan striker Guiseppe Rossi who moved to St James's Park from Old Trafford.