Date: 17th July 2008 at 5:04pm
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It looks like that Owen Hargreaves’ persistent knee problems are getting the better of him: the midfielder missed the 2-0 win at Aberdeen on Saturday and has now been left behind in Manchester as the rest of the squad flew to the pre-season tour in South Africa.

Edwin van der Sar, Nani, Patrice Evra and Cristiano Ronaldo do not travel, either but it’s no surprise, as all played in Euro 2008. Ronaldo could not come anyway as he’s currently recovering from an ankle surgery.

The rest of the squad boarded the plane, even Gary Neville has boarded the plane, after putting in a solid shift at right-back at Pittodrie. The skipper’s pre-season will hopefully continue without any problems and he can finally leave his injury nightmare behind.

Wayne Rooney must attempt to shake off a little weight and shrug off the effects of smoking a few cigarettes during his honeymoon – but the South African sun should be perfect for this kind of effort.