Manchester, England:Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand was ruled out for as long as a month because of a thigh injury on Friday.
Manager Alex Ferguson said the England center back slightly tore his thigh during training last week ahead of the defending champions' Premier League opener against Birmingham.
Ferguson originally thought that Ferdinand would only be sidelined for a couple of weeks, but said on Friday that "Rio is going to be out for three to four weeks."
Ferdinand looks set to miss United's Premier League matches against Wigan, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City, as well as an international friendly against Slovenia and England's World Cup qualifier against Croatia on September 9.
United's other first-choice central defender, Nemanja Vidic, has recovered from a calf muscle injury and is set to start his first game of the season at Wigan on Saturday.