Owen Hargreaves is confident he will return from major knee surgery as a better player.
The Manchester United midfielder has been ruled out until the summer after having operations on both knees to cure a long-standing tendinitis problem that first surfaced two years before his Â£18.6million move from Bayern Munich.
"I am going to come back stronger and hopefully add a couple more years to my career," Hargreaves told the Manchester Evening News.
After an extensive rehabilitation programme in the United States, under the direction of renowned Colorado-based surgeon Dr Richard Steadman, Hargreaves is now back at United's Carrington training complex, where he will step up his work even further.
Hargreaves is hoping to be fit for the start of next season, and eager to make up for lost time.
And the Calgary-born star is optimistic he will not only return to top form, but his career may be extended as a consequence of going under the knife.
Although he picked up Champions League and Premier League winners medals in his first season at Old Trafford, his second has been a virtual write-off.
Hargreaves last played for Sir Alex Ferguson's side in September, after which he finally gave up trying to overcome the pain.
Although it has been tempting to watch United in action, the England star has stayed away, keeping focused on his own recovery programme rather than follow the Red Devils' progress.
"It has been frustrating at times," said the 28-year-old. "I don't really watch our games because as an athlete, and being so competitive, it is hard to watch when you would normally be out there."
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