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Beckham injured again

London: England captain David Beckham will be out of action for up to three weeks after tests revealed he has fractured ribs. British newspapers, however, reported Beckham’s injury could keep him out for six weeks.

The Manchester United midfielder is thought to have picked up the injury in the Premier League encounter with Southampton on November 9. However, he still played in the Champions League victory over Bayer Leverkusen four days later.

He complained of pain after the match but it was initially thought the ribs were just bruised, rather than fractured. A scan then proved otherwise and Beckham was ruled out of Sunday’s Premier League clash at West Ham. The People newspaper, however, said it believed the injury was sustained during training on Friday.

The News of the World quoted a source inside the club as saying: “David has been told he will not be able to play competitively for six weeks. There is a serious danger that if he receives another knock the rib could splinter and puncture his lung.”

Beckham is also set to miss crucial league games at Newcastle, Liverpool and Arsenal, as well as the opening match in the second phase of the Champions League, against FC Basel of Switzerland.

The injury is a personal setback for Beckham as well as a hammer-blow for United’s ambitions in Europe and at home. Beckham is currently acting as the club stand-in skipper while Roy Keane recovers from hip surgery.

A broken foot incurred in April almost forced Beckham to sit out the World Cup in Korea and he now looks unlikely to join the England squad for next week’s get-together at a health farm north of London.

The bad news on Beckham comes just two days after United’s England defender Rio Ferdinand was ruled out for three weeks with a torn thigh muscle.

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