Players returning to club duty having sustained an injury during the international break is something all managers dread but, says Sir Alex Ferguson, there is nothing that can be done to avoid the odd niggle or knock.
Manchester United have no fewer than 10 players who could have represented their countries prior to the weekend's encounter with Bolton which, of course, plays on the mind of Ferguson as he makes plans for Saturday.
However, the United boss has to accept that he can have no influence on his players when they are away from Carrington, and simply crosses his fingers and hopes they will return to the club in good health.
"You've just got to accept it," he told MUTV. "There's nothing you can do about it.
"Over the last year, we had Paul [Scholes], Gary [Neville], Ryan [Giggs] and Edwin [van der Sar] who had retired from internationals so we had the benefit of having those players for weekends.
"Now those players, bar Giggsy, are away from us so most of the players are going to internationals.
"We have to keep our fingers crossed that they come back healthy. Sometimes we're lucky, sometimes we're not. It's not in our hands.
"The only benefit is the internationals are now Tuesday fixtures and that gives us an extra day to prepare for weekend games."
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