Manchester United will be without their first-choice goalkeeper, Edwin van der Sar, for about two months after the Dutchman had surgery on a broken finger and bone in his left hand.
Van der Sar sustained the injury saving a penalty during United's shoot-out against Bayern Munich in a pre-season tournament in Germany last week and United have confirmed he will be out for "up to eight weeks".
His absence opens the way for Ben Foster to prove his worth at Old Trafford. Foster has been described by United's manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, as England's best goalkeeper but the 26-year-old has had few first-team chances because of injuries and Van der Sar's excellence.
With United ruling out Van der Sar until 29 August at the earliest, Foster has a chance to stake a claim for a regular place not just with his club but also with England in the build-up to next summer's World Cup.
United play a friendly against Valencia tonight and then face Chelsea in the Community Shield on Sunday before the Premier League season begins. Tomasz Kuszczak is the other goalkeeping option available to Ferguson.