MANCHESTER, England (AP) -- Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson will have hip surgery this summer and may miss the start of next season.
The English champions confirmed widespread reports in the British media on Saturday that Ferguson will have an operation. It's scheduled to not interfere with the club's three-week preseason tour of Thailand, Australia, Japan and Hong Kong that ends July 30.
United didn't speculate about whether the 71-year-old Ferguson will be in the dugout for the season-opening Community Shield against either Manchester City or Wigan on Aug. 11.
United will play the first game of its title defense the following weekend.
Ferguson has spent 26 seasons in charge of United.