Owen Hargreaves is set to make his long-awaited comeback for Manchester United in a reserve team encounter on Thursday.
Hargreaves has been out of action since September 2008 with a series of knee problems.
"Owen Hargreaves has shown for the first time that he is almost ready to play," said United boss Sir Alex Ferguson. "He has been training with the first team, which has been good to see and is pencilled in for a game with the reserves on Thursday."
The England midfielder had operations on both knees under the guidance of renowned specialist Dr Richard Steadman but after returning to United's Carrington training complex in September had been expected to return to action within a couple of months.
Instead, a comeback has been repeatedly delayed but his appearance next week will be good news for both Ferguson and England boss Fabio Capello.
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