Beckham out with knee injury

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> David Beckham will be out of action for about four weeks because of sprained knee ligament, the team said on Monday.

Updated: March 22, 2007 06:37 IST
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David Beckham's return to form has taken a new twist. A bad twist of his right knee. The Real Madrid midfielder, who has played so well since being reinstated last month that rumors of a recall to England's national team had been swirling, will be out of action for about four weeks because of sprained knee ligament, the team said on Monday. An MRI scan at the team's Valdebas training ground confirmed the injury to the 31-year-old former England captain, which occurred during Madrid's 1-1 draw with Getafe on Sunday in the Spanish league. "The Briton is suffering from a second-degree sprain of the internal lateral ligament of his right knee," Madrid said on its Web site. "He is expected to be out for about four weeks." Beckham limped off the field in the 69th minute, a few minutes after his momentum following a cross took him into the advertising signs behind the goal. Teammate Jose Antonio Reyes was carried off on a stretcher in the 32nd with a similar injury to his left knee, and he also is expected to miss up to four weeks. Besides missing games against Bayern Munich on Wednesday in the Champions League and rival FC Barcelona in the Spanish league on Saturday, Beckham will have almost no chance to make a 95th international appearance for England later this month. Nagging injuries In November, Beckham missed three matches with an injury to his left knee - the same one he injured at the World Cup in Germany, causing him to miss the start of the Spanish season. After the quarterfinal loss to Portugal at the World Cup, in which Beckham came off with an Achilles injury, the Englishman stepped down as captain. He was then dropped from the team by incoming coach Steve McClaren a month later. In January, Beckham rejected a two-year contract extension with Madrid to join the Los Angeles Galaxy on a five-year deal after his contract with the Spanish club expires in June. That led to Capello's decision to drop Beckham from the team. But Beckham returned to the field on February 10, and scored a goal to relieve the pressure on the besieged Capello, whose job was reportedly on the line after a series of poor results. Ten days later, Beckham set up all three goals in a 3-2 win over Bayern Munich in the first leg of the second round of the Champions League. Madrid will now play at Bayern Munich in the second leg on Wednesday - without Beckham. The nine-time European champions also will be missing the midfielder on Saturday when they face rival FC Barcelona in the Spanish league. Madrid is fourth in the league with 44 points, six points behind leader Sevilla and five points behind Barcelona. England plays at Israel on March 24 in a European Championship qualifier, and then visits Andorra four days later. The English team is tied for third place in Group E, trailing both Croatia and Russia.

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