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Stricken Hargreaves facing six-week lay-off

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Stricken Hargreaves facing six-week lay-off

Postby FCBayernNews » Sun Sep 17, 2006 11:45 am

17.09.2006

Owen Hargreaves will be out of action for at least six weeks after fracturing his left fibula in Saturday's Bundesliga encounter with Arminia Bielefeld, the player confirmed on Sunday. Bayern medical chief Dr Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt finalised the diagnosis after examining x-rays at his Munich practice in the early hours of the morning.

The injury cloud comes with a silver lining in that the midfielder will not require surgery. He will spend the next three weeks in plaster before beginning a programme of rehab training. If the recovery proceeds according to plan, the 25-year-old could return to action in early November.

<b>Setback for Owen and Magath</b>

Hargreaves sustained the injury in an aerial duel with combative Bielefeld midfielder Thorben Marx after 24 minutes of Saturday's German top flight fixture. Marx was booked after catching the Bayern man with a kick to the left calf which left Owen grimacing in pain and unfit to continue. Martin Demichelis came off the bench to replace the England star, who had to be supported by members of the coaching staff on his way to the dressing room.

The injury and lay-off come as a heavy blow to the player, who has been in impressive form for a number of months and collected the latest in a string of Man of the Match awards after prompting Bayern to a 4-0 triumph in last Tuesday's Champion s League opener against Spartak Moscow. "That's football for you. You can be on a high, and then suddenly you come right back down again," the versatile star was quoted as saying on his official website.

<b>Demichelis and Ottl standing by</b>

Owen is the second broken leg victim at the club this season, after French defender Valerien Ismael was ruled out for at least six months with a fracture of both bones in his lower left leg during a pre-season training session in mid-August.

Hargreaves has played a vital role in Bayern's promising start to the season in his favoured anchor position in front of the back four. Although coach Felix Magath will now be forced to reshuffle his formation yet again after finally appearing to have settled on a starting line-up in the post-Michael Ballack era, he at least has two ready-made replacements for the job in Demichelis and Bayern youth product Andreas Ottl.
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