Football: Premier League teams count cost of Asia tours
HONG KONG (AFP) - The Premier League's top teams swarmed to Asia chasing the region's growing wealth and unquenchable thirst for English football, but they go home counting the fitness costs.
At least two key players - Jan Vertonghen of Spurs and Matija Nastasic of Manchester City - suffered injuries during friendlies that could see them miss the start of the season, which kicks off in under three weeks.
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney was in Bangkok for less than 24 hours when he sustained a hamstring injury in training and was immediately sent back to Britain for rehabilitation. He is at least expected back before the start of the season and is pencilled in for a return on Aug 6.
Whether the England star, 27, is still a United man when the season gets underway remains to be seen - he is the subject of a big-money bid from title rivals Chelsea. United, the Premier League champions, say they do not want to sell.