Injured English football (soccer) star David Beckham will miss two crucial Euro 2008 qualifying matches with his national team, and possibly the rest of the U.S.-based Major League Soccer season.
Medical tests late Thursday confirmed that the 32-year-old midfielder sprained his right knee Wednesday in the MLS Los Angeles Galaxy's (4-3) loss to Mexico's Pachuca in the North American championship Super Liga final. Galaxy officials say the injury will sideline Beckham for about six weeks.
That means he will be absent when the English national team takes on Israel September eighth, and Russia four days later in Euro 2008 qualifiers. England is fourth in the Group E standings with the top two teams advancing.
Beckham probably will miss all but the final two or three games of the Galaxy's season. The L.A. club had been looking to the English striker to help lift it from near the bottom of the MLS standings.
The former England captain's latest injury is in addition to a nagging ankle problem he has struggled to overcome in recent months.
Beckham left Real Madrid when the Spanish league season ended to join the L.A. Galaxy in the North American MLS.