Sir Alex Ferguson expects Owen Hargreaves to be making his first-team return in three weeks.
The Manchester United midfielder returned to Carrington last month after spending a year in the United States recovering from ground-breaking surgery on both knees to combat a long-standing tendinitis problem.
Hargreaves was initially accompanied by his personal physiotherapist before care was transferred to the United medical staff.
The 28-year-old is progressing well. And though Ferguson is bound to be planning a low-key return on reserve team duty somewhere, the Scot feels Hargreaves will be available again at the start of next month.
"Owen is doing a lot of good work now," he said.
"He is making great progress, which we are very pleased about.
"It is not a thing you have to rush because he has been out a year.
"We have to monitor it a bit more closely but he is giving us good signs.
"He should be back in the first-team level in three weeks from now, easily."
In theory that would give Hargreaves a chance of being fit for the eagerly-awaited encounter with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on November 8.
It would seem unlikely Ferguson would pitch the former Bayern Munich star into such a high-profile occasion, so an outing immediately after the international break that follows is far more likely, particularly as United should have booked their place in the Champions League knock-out stages by then.Reuse content