Owen Hargreaves' surgeon has suggested the injury-plagued Manchester United midfielder will make his comeback in Saturday's Premier League game with West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford.
It is over two years since Hargreaves played a meaningful senior game for United after he suffered an acute form of tendinitis in his knees, which he first experienced during his time at Bayern Munich.
Two operations and an extensive period of rehabilitation seemed to have put the 29-year-old back on track by the end of last season, when he completed 45 minutes in a reserve game and was then introduced as an injury-time substitute at Sunderland as United challenged for the title.
Yet the midfielder's hopes of being fit for the start of this season were wrecked when he experienced more discomfort after his return to training, and he was dispatched back to Colorado by Sir Alex Ferguson for more work with Dr Richard Steadman. "Owen should play some part on Saturday," Steadman said. "Our physical therapist, Luke O'Brien, has been working very closely with United's coaches on his rehab.
"It's been a long road back. But I've got a lot of admiration for the way Owen has responded – he's worked very hard and has never given up. Things are looking good for him now."