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Year of the comeback: Test for the rest: Who else will be hoping to return in style this year?

Roy Keane: Until well into the year and perhaps the early autumn the player who is perhaps the toughest and most irascible in England has time to dwell on his approach, thoughts probably multiplied by Manchester United's ability to win so stylishly in his injury-enforced absence.

Joe Royle: Having jumped the Everton ship midway through last season, since when the vessel has taken a sharp turn towards the rocks, some club will realise some day soon the wisdom he can impart.

Brian Horton: For years he did a serviceable job in the lower divisions and despite the damage to his reputation inflicted at Manchester City (he's not alone in that) and Huddersfield, someone will plump for the word "experience" on his cv.

Peter Beardsley: Was it really only a year ago that his mentor Kevin Keegan was singing his praises each week? Bolting to Bolton has failed but he could yet be revived by re-uniting with his biggest fan at Fulham.

Chris Lewis: If it's comebacks you want then the former Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Surrey and England all-rounder is your man. This summer he will pitch up again at Grace Road, although a long-service medal seems a distant prospect.

Angus Fraser: It all looked over for the workhorse of St John's Wood, but the England selectors have thrown him a lifeline, so watch for his astute sense of length and direction being required before February is out.

Jack Rowell: Back in big business the former England rugby coach and his OBE possess too much energy and expertise to avoid being begged by some hard-pressed club to bring back the good times.

Andre Agassi: The once pony- tailed one has been this way before, winning the US Open as an unseeded player in 1994. This time, baldier, heavier and still lower in the rankings, it will be harder, but he has promised a huge effort, which should be wonderful viewing at least.

Damon Hill: After a fallow year in the slow lane he is in a competitive car again and will be mightily determined. But...

Michael Schumacher: Ferrari will have progressed a year and having lost much of his reputation for his shunt with Jacques Villeneuve the German will be desperate to reclaim the title.

Adrian Maguire: Another year, another break for the game Irishman but come Cheltenham and he'll be back in the saddle again.

Richard Corsie: Having sorted out the bowls world administratively, he is keener than ever to get back to the rinks.

Severiano Ballesteros: They say he is finished but genius like his may have a few thrills left.

Desmond Douglas: The best English table-tennis player of the last 40 years is returning to play in Britain for the first time in a decade - in Darlington.