There are fears that Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves has suffered another setback as he attempts to battle back from his knee problems.
The 28-year-old former Bayern Munich star made only two starts for United last term and has not featured in the first team for more than ten months.
Hargreaves was forced to undergo surgery for tendinitis in both knees and Sir Alex Ferguson admitted earlier this summer that he did not expect the midfielder to return to action until September.
However, that prediction could prove to be overly optimistic as Hargreaves has been unable to link up with the rest of the United squad as they prepare for the Audi Cup in Germany.
Ferguson has now said: "Hargreaves will not play in this tournament. We'd hoped he'd be joining us, but he's still in his programme of rehabilitation.
"He's had major operations on both knees and we aren't rushing that. He's young enough to come back once he's fully fit, but we aren't rushing him."