Owen Hargreaves is determined to look back on his 14-month long absence as a positive experience.
The Manchester United midfielder is nearing the end of his mammoth comeback trail, having returned to England following operations on both knees to cure a tendinitis problem that arose before his £18.6million move from Bayern Munich in 2007. Hargreaves admitted that his initial reaction after being informed the injury was as bad as his US-based specialist had ever seen was one of gloom and despondency.
"The day of the diagnosis was a bad one, as was the day after the first operation," he told Inside United.
"I was sore and doubt started to cloud my mind. But I see it as a positive experience now. Sometimes I think you learn more from the bad experiences.
"Ideally I would not have had to go through this. But the diagnosis was made to ensure I can come back and play for years to come. I am 28 now and I would like to play until I am 34. "
Sir Alex Ferguson stated last week he would not rush Hargreaves' recovery, mindful of his long time out of the game.
However, United's smooth progression to the Champions League knock-out phase provides Ferguson with a couple of dead rubbers against Besiktas and fellow qualifiers Wolfsburg which would be perfect for Hargreaves to ease himself back into the fray.
"I just want to be part of it again. I want to be available and healthy," he said.
"I can't wait to be involved and play for United again.
"I want a good season to repay the faith shown in me by the fans. It will be an amazing feeling to run out at Old Trafford again. I will be so excited I will probably pass out."
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