Macau - Paul Scholes is set to miss the start of the Premiership season after flying home early from Manchester United's Asian tour with a knee injury.
The 32-year-old former England midfielder missed the 6-0 win against Shenzhen in Macau on Tuesday after being dispatched to Manchester by United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
And with a Community Shield date with Chelsea at Wembley on August 5 and the Premiership opener against Reading a week later looming, the Red Devils will be forced to start the new campaign without their influential playmaker.
"Paul felt his knee in his last game, so we had a scan done and it showed some discolourment around the cartilage area," said Ferguson.
"He has gone home to have a scope to assess the damage. We don't think it's serious, but we need to check it out.
"Because he has had a scope, he will be out for three to four weeks, so he is probably not going to start the season."
Six different players - Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney, Nani, Cristiano Ronaldo, John O'Shea and Chris Eagles - found their name on the scoresheet against the unimpressive Chinese outfit Shenzhen here in front of 15,000 fans.
And Ferguson admitted he was happy with the performance of his players in tough conditions.
"We are happy with the result and the football we played," he said.
"It was very warm out there and the humidity was a bit of a concern, but a few players have got some football under their belt and that was the purpose of the game.
"It will hopefully stand them all in good stead when the season starts next month." - AFP