Rafael out for a month with hamstring injury

Chris McGrath

Rafael da Silva will miss the start of Manchester United's Premier League campaign after picking up a hamstring injury in the Community Shield.

Rafael will be absent for around a month after picking up a hamstring injury in Manchester United's 2-0 victory over Wigan Athletic in the Community Shield.

The Brazilian limped off midway through the first half and was replaced by Chris Smalling, and worryingly, United appeared to visibly suffer a loss of drive as a result of his absence. The news that he will be out for four to five weeks will be a blow to United's hopes, as the period includes some very difficult games against the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool. Rafael was already suspended for the first league game of the season, against Swansea City.

Although Chris Smalling was the stand-in today, David Moyes may look to call upon his brother Fabio, who played at right-back plenty in pre-season and appeared to strike up a fine understanding with Wilfried Zaha. With Phil Jones and Chris Smalling both fit, United at least have options in that position. Even Antonio Valencia is a further possibility there, but hopefully Rafael's absence won't cost us too much.

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