• Premier League

Rafael could miss five weeks

ESPN staff
August 12, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Rafael came off early on at Wembley © Getty Images
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Manchester United could be without Rafael for up to five weeks after he suffered a hamstring injury in the Community Shield.

Rafael only played the first 16 minutes of the 2-0 win over Wigan at Wembley before he was replaced by Chris Smalling.

He is likely to sit out the Premier League clashes with Chelsea and Liverpool and could face a battle to be fit for the Manchester derby on September 22.

"[It is] a hamstring, I could be out four, five weeks," Rafael said while manager David Moyes downplayed his removal.

"Rafa said that he felt his hamstring and in a game like this when you have an opportunity to make substitutes, it was fine," Moyes said on MUTV.

Rafael was already certain to miss Saturday's trip to Swansea when he serves the final match of a three-game ban he received for a red card against Chelsea in May, when he kicked out at David Luiz.

His twin brother, Fabio, is one option to replace him along with Smalling and Phil Jones, who moved to right-back in the reshuffle when Rafael went off at Wembley.

Moyes' only signing so far is a right-back but the young Uruguayan Guillermo Varela was expected to be loaned out before Rafael was injured.

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