United star closing on return

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Sir Alex Ferguson is ready to let Owen Hargreaves take the next step on his road to recovery.

Hargreaves was due to play in a reserve team encounter with Manchester City on Thursday night and end a near-18 month absence following a double knee operation, but Manchester United officials confirmed on Wednesday night that the England star would not be involved, as it interfered with his training regime.

"Owen went to see a specialist yesterday (Thursday)," said Ferguson. "There is nothing wrong and the idea is for him to play in the next game. He has to play in the next game because he is ready to play."

United's reserve side is next due in action on Thursday, when they entertain Burnley at Altrincham's Moss Lane ground.

However, given this week's events, nothing should be taken for granted until the 29-year-old actually makes an appearance.

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Premier League
Manchester United
Owen Hargreaves

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