Michael Carrick makes return to action for Manchester United in Under-21 match

Midfielder could play a part against Chelsea on Sunday

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The Independent Online

Michael Carrick came through 64 minutes of football last night to provide a major boost for Manchester United.

The England midfielder is yet to play a senior match under Louis van Gaal as he recovers from surgery on an ankle ligament injury.

The 33-year-old was included on the bench for Manchester United's 2-2 draw with West Brom on Monday night but was not brought into the action at the Hawthorns.

However, in an Under-21s match against West Ham on Friday he was able to complete 64 minutes before being replaced. He played in the centre of midfield and looked comfortable and energetic throughout.

Van Gaal will now have to decide whether Carrick is ready to return to action for the first team, with a Premier League meeting against Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday. The experience of the five-time Premier League winner could be just what is needed for what is set to be a tactical battle between Jose Mourinho's side and the Red Devils.

There are also tough games on the horizon against Manchester City and Arsenal for Manchester United, meaning Carrick's return has come just at the right time.