Manchester United have revealed Rio Ferdinand may be fit for the opening game of the 2010/11 season against Newcastle despite reports he could face several months on the sidelines after suffering a knee ligament injury in the build-up to the World Cup.
The 31-year-old sustained the injury while training in Rustenburg on June 4 and had to relinquish both his place in the England squad as well as the captaincy.
While some reports suggested he would be sidelined until well into the season, the club have estimated the central defender's recovery will take 10 weeks from the time he suffered the injury.
As such Ferdinand could be ready to face the newly-promoted Magpies at Old Trafford when the season starts on August 14.
Should he not make the opener then Ferdinand could possibly return in the Red Devils' following game at Fulham the following weekend or their third match against West Ham on August 28 at Old Trafford.