Manchester United midfielder Daley Blind is closing in on a return to full fitness after confirming he is back in training as of today.
Blind had been one of the few positives to come from an otherwise disastrous start to life at Old Trafford for Louis van Gaal. After signing from Ajax for £16 million, Blind started all eight games he was available for, impressing in the process.
But Manchester United's injury crisis struck once again as Blind went down with a knee injury in the Holland's 6-0 win over Latvia on November 16. Initial reports suggested the midfielder could be out for months, but his injury turned out to be not as bad as first feared.
Now Blind is well on the road to recovery and confirmed as much after tweeting a picture of him putting on his football boots for the first time since that Euro 2016 qualifier. It puts the Dutchman in line to return next month.
"The football boots are back! Started training outside again, great feeling!" Blind tweeted, with a picture of his boots.
Manchester United face a relatively easy FA Cup third round tie away to Yeovil Town, which could be the perfect time for Blind to return to the team. If not, the Red Devils face Southampton away a few days later.
It will come as a great relief to see Blind back on the pitch, especially for the person in charge of Manchester United's Twitter account. Their fumbling thumbs once suggested that Van Gaal had ruled Blind out for six months with his current injury. It later turned out to be mistranslation.
There was also good news for Chris Smalling today after Van Gaal confirmed he had a small chance of returning for the Boxing Day game against Newcastle United. It signals a positive move towards the end of what has been an incredible injury crisis at Old Trafford.
Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Jonny Evans have each spent over a month on the sidelines with injury forcing Van Gaal to hand debuts to Tyler Blackett and Marcos Rojo. Michael Carrick has also been deployed at centre-back in recent games.