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Welbeck injury highlights striker crisis

Arsenal
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Shoulder injury sidelines Rafael

Manchester United suffered a blow before they had even kicked a ball in the new Premier League season, with fullback Rafael da Silva ruled out for ten weeks.

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The Brazilian defender was tipped to cement his place as United's first choice right-back this year, following the retirement of Gary Neville and departures of John O'Shea and Wes Brown to Sunderland.

However, Rafael was involved in a training ground collision at United's Carrington complex prior to Sunday's fixture with West Brom.

The youngster dislocated his shoulder and the club have revealed they expect him to miss the opening ten weeks of the season.

A statement on United's official website read: "Rafael will be out of action for around ten weeks after dislocating his shoulder in training ahead of the trip to West Brom."

Chris Smalling or Rafael's brother Fabio can both act as cover, with Smalling given the nod to start at the Hawthorns against West Brom.

The Red Devils have also revealed that they don't expect Javier Hernandez to be ready before the end of August. Hernandez is recovering from a busy summer international schedule and a head knock picked up in pre-season, and is not expected to start training for another 10 days.

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