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Hargreaves future in the balance

Sir Alex Ferguson does not believe Owen Hargreaves will play for Manchester United again this season and said they are now deciding whether he has any future at the club.

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Hargreaves has struggled badly with injury problems over the last two seasons, playing less than ten minutes for the senior team, and the 30-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season.

Having suffered with major tendinitis problems, he sustained a hamstring injury during his comeback against Wolves in November and has since damaged his shoulder.

Ferguson believes there is little prospect of a return during the current campaign and it appears he may have played his last game for the club.

"I don't see it at all," he said. "It is a shoulder injury. It has just brought his season to an end. He has just carried bad luck all the time he has been here. I am pretty sure he won't be playing this season.

"His contract is up at the end of the season but I don't know what is going to happen. David Gill had a discussion with the boy last week, but no more than that. We have to make a decision."

United, though, should have another defensive-minded midfielder back in action before the end of the season as Darren Fletcher has returned to training.

Fletcher has been out of action with a chronic virus and there were fears he may not be back before the end of the season, but Ferguson believes he will be available by the start of May.

"Darren Fletcher is back in training now," he said. "He is not doing a lot but he has put the weight back on, which is good. He is a couple of weeks away."

Anderson is also back in first-team contention having come through a reserve match unscathed this week.

"He is much better now," Ferguson said. "We thought the Chelsea game would be too much for him because we knew what the pace was likely to be."

Whether he will be considered for Saturday's FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City remains to be seen, but Ferguson is delighted with the way his players have performed in recent weeks after securing seven consecutive victories.

"Tomorrow should be a very exciting game," he said. "It is a derby match in London, which is unusual in itself, but we have great momentum at the moment. We are playing well and confidence is high and we are looking forward to it."


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