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Shinji Kagawa out for another four weeks

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Shinji Kagawa was originally expected to miss four weeks of action when he injured his knee on October 23. Unfortunately, the Japanese playmaker will miss even more time.

Richard Heathcote

One could definitely make the argument that Shinji Kagawa was the other marquee signing for Manchester United this past summer alongside Robin van Persie. The Japanese international made an impressive start at his new club, even if his influence tailed off a bit prior to his knee injury. When that injury occurred on October 23 during a UEFA Champions League tie with Portuguese side SC Braga, the playmaker was only expected to miss about four weeks of action. However, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson revealed today during a press conference that Kagawa would miss an additional four weeks or so. This would have him miss the final two European group fixtures along with numerous upcoming Premier League ties -- this includes the December 9 encounter with Manchester City at the Etihad.

"Shinji's progress has been quite slow actually. He's not started any outside work and we're looking at another four weeks, which is disappointing. Originally we thought three or four weeks - now it looks like seven or eight weeks."

- Ferguson | Source: ManUtd.com

Fortunately for United, Wayne Rooney has been in fine form as of late in the playmaker's role. The England international did miss the past weekend's match versus Norwich City due to illness but he's expected to make a return next weekend in the Queens Park Rangers clash at Old Trafford. The league fixture list does get congested near Christmas so hopefully Kagawa can get fit in time for then so that when the squad needs to be rotated, Ferguson has the option of two playmakers to choose from in the secondary striker/No.10 role in United's 4-4-1-1/4-2-3-1 system.