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Giggs must wait for 900th United appearance

Features and profiles on Giggs, 38, appeared in many newspapers on Wednesday in anticipation of him reaching another milestone in his long playing career, but he was absent when the squad left Manchester on Wednesday.

Dimitar Berbatov and Patrice Evra were other notable absentees from the travelling party, but Phil Jones and Nani, who have both recovered from recent injuries, were on the plane.

Giggs, who made his debut for United in 1991 and has played more times for the club than anyone else, could now make his 900th appearance in the return leg against Ajax at Old Trafford on February 23 or when United visit Norwich City in the Premier League three days later.

United have no game at the weekend after being knocked out of the FA Cup by Liverpool last month, failing to reach this weekend's fifth-round matches.