Van der Sar targets Bolton return

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The Independent Football

Edwin van der Sar is certain he will be ready for Manchester United's Premier League clash with Bolton on 17 October.

The veteran Dutchman has been out of action since breaking a couple of fingers in a pre-season encounter with Bayern Munich in July.

However, Sir Alex Ferguson has previously offered encouraging reports of Van der Sar's recovery and the former Holland skipper returned to action in last night's reserve team triumph over Everton at Widnes.

The 39-year-old is confident he will be available to face Gary Megson's side as United look to get their campaign back on track after Saturday's disappointing draw with Sunderland at Old Trafford.

"I will be ready for Bolton," he told MUTV.

"I feel good and I haven't had any reaction. The match is still 10 days away so I have more training to do, then I will be ready for my first start of the season."

Van der Sar's return is likely to mean a period in exile for Ben Foster.

After showing plenty of faith in the former Stoke keeper following his dismal performance in last month's Manchester derby, Ferguson knows Foster was also to blame for Sunderland's second goal at Old Trafford.

While Kenwyne Jones' strength is a big asset and the ball Foster was coming to catch was not at the easiest height for a goalkeeper, it is hard to imagine either Van der Sar or a fearless character such as Peter Schmeichel being brushed aside so easily.

That United managed to rescue the situation with an injury-time goal, this time from the unwitting boot of Anton Ferdinand, will be of little comfort to Ferguson.

The Red Devils chief will not want to drop any more points, especially as trips to Liverpool on October 25 and Chelsea on November 8 are looming fast.

And for Van der Sar that offers another chance to test himself at the highest level having cast doubt on the general assumption that he will retire in the summer.

"Of course I could train but there are a lot of lads away on international duty so there are not many players around," he said.

"I just felt this was the ideal opportunity to get some action in a real game."