Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that Rio Ferdinand is facing another month on the sidelines with a thigh injury.
Ferdinand missed last week's Premier League curtain raiser against Birmingham City after picking up a thigh injury during training.
Ferguson initially suggested the defender would be missing for two weeks but scans have now revealed a slight tear in his thigh muscle.
"Rio is going to be out for three to four weeks," he confirmed
Ferdinand will now miss Saturday's trip to Wigan Athletic and next weekend's showdown with Arsenal.
He is also likely to be absent when United start their Champions League campaign and is extremely doubtful for England's friendly against Slovenia on September 5 and then the World Cup qualifier against Croatia four days later,
However, United have been boosted by the news that Ferdinand's central defensive partner Nemanja Vidic - who has also missed the start of the season with a calf problem - is fit to face Wigan.
Both first-choice central defenders missed the midweek 1-0 defeat at Burnley.
"Nemanja has trained with us for 10 days and he is ready for the game," added Ferguson.
"Hopefully he will be okay by tomorrow."