Hip operation could force Sir Alex Ferguson to miss start of next season

The Manchester United boss will undergo his surgery after a summer tour of Thailand, Hong Kong and Australia and may have to hand over control for the Community Shield
Sir Alex Ferguson could be set to miss the start of the 2013-14 Premier League season after it was confirmed by Manchester United that their manager is set to undergo hip surgery.

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It is expected that the Scot will have the operation after returning from United's summer tour of Thailand, Australia and Hong Kong, which is scheduled for July 13-29.

The veteran boss would face a race against time to be fit for the start of the Premier League season on August 17, which means that he is also expected to miss the Community Shield showpiece against the FA Cup winners on the preceding Sunday.

The 71-year-old has only missed three games in his 27 years at Old Trafford, with his most recent absence dating back to 2010 when he was in Spain, scouting current first-choice goalkeeper David de Gea.

Assistant manager Mike Phelan would be expected to step in to coach the team in Ferguson's absence.