Manchester United confirmed Tuesday that captain Gary Neville has been ruled out of the FA Cup final because of an ankle injury.

The 32-year-old has been out of action since March 17 and the club have confirmed he will not play again this season.

A club statement said: "Gary Neville has undergone an exploratory operation on his right ankle and he will miss the FA Cup final."

Ryan Giggs is set to lead out United in the first final at the new Wembley with Neville's place in defence going to either Wes Brown or John O'Shea.

Sir Alex Ferguson had vowed to give the United skipper every chance of featuring against Chelsea on Saturday.

Neville's injury blow is more serious for England coach Steve McClaren.

Already without Manchester City's Micah Richards, who has had calf surgery, McClaren now faces the June 1 friendly with Brazil and, the UEFA EURO 2008 qualifier in Estonia the following week with his two right-backs unavailable.