Owen Hargreaves returns to training at Carrington on September 23 and should be available to play in United’s final three Champions League group games. Such is the confidence that United’s staff have in the Canadian-born midfielder’s fitness that Hargreaves has been given a Champions League squad number and earmarked for a return on November 3 against CSKA Moscow at Old Trafford.
“We had difficulty what we should do about Owen Hargreaves whether to put him in the 25,” said the United manager.
“It was Owen or Zoran or Ritchie de Laet. It was a dilemma. But we came down on the side of Hargreaves because having taken the medical advice we think he will be available for the last three Champions League games,” said Sir Alex Ferguson on the perrenially injured midfielder.
“In that respect it is the time when we would want to push him a bit. He is also a versatile player who can perform in so many positions.
“He could be a very important player for us at that time of the season.”
Hargreaves has been out of action for close to a full year and has only started 25 matches for United since transferring from Bayern Munich in an £18 million dea during the summer of 2007l. The England international has undergone operations on both knees in a final attempt to cure persistent tendonitis.
Should Hargreave’s comeback fail this time his future career at United must be placed in doubt. The midfielder may also struggle to get back in the team, even if fit, with Darren Fletcher currently in superb form.