Nemanja Vidic will miss the start of the Barclays Premier League season, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said on Friday.
Vidic has been ruled out of the Community Shield showpiece against Chelsea on Sunday at Wembley and the following game with Birmingham because of a calf injury.
Wes Brown is also sidelined this weekend with a thigh problem but is expected back for the opening league match as Ferguson said: "Neither Wes or Nemanja have long-term injuries. I would expect Wes to be fit for the game a week on Sunday. As for Vidic he pulled his calf in the warm-up in Munich (against Bayern Munich) and is two weeks away."
Gary Neville is also unavailable this weekend because of a groin strain.
Ferguson added: "Gary is doing a little bit of training and coming on fine but I do not think he will make Sunday."
With goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar out for up to ten weeks with broken fingers, Ferguson has to choose between Ben Foster and Tomasz Kuszczak against Chelsea.
Both played a half in the game against Valencia in midweek and Ferguson added: "We have a selection dilemma as to who plays in goal on Sunday. It is not an easy one for me."