MANCHESTER, February 4 – Owen Hargreaves has been left out of Manchester United's Champions League squad in the latest indication that the midfielder's rehabilitation following knee surgery is not going to plan.United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said last month that he expected to name Hargreaves in his squad for the knockout phase of the competition.
But the 29-year-old was not included in the 25-man list submitted to UEFA, suggesting the club do not anticipate him being ready for the second round clash with Milan later this month.
Hagreaves has been sidelined since September 2008 and underwent surgery in the United States last year in an attempt to cure the chronic tendinitis which has blighted his career at Old Trafford.
Ferguson had initially been hopeful that the midfielder would be back in September, a target which subsequently slipped to December.
In his last update on January 22nd, Ferguson declined to make any prediction about when Hargreaves might return and revealed that he was unable to train for three consecutive days.
"It is a process and, hopefully, we get to the point where he feels confident about playing," Ferguson said at the time.
Hargreaves was one of England’s best players at the last World Cup but his prospects of winning a place in Fabio Capello’s squad for this year’s tournament in South Africa now look bleak and inevitably there will be concern that he may never be able to resume playing at the highest level.