Hargreaves could make run-in
Sir Alex Ferguson has refused to rule out the possibility of Owen Hargreaves making a comeback this season.
The combative midfielder has not figured for Manchester United since 2008, with a succession of knee problems keeping him on the sidelines.
The long-standing injury dates back to his time with Bayern Munich, but it is hoped that the revolutionary surgery he underwent in America will help to rid him of the complaint.
The 29-year-old has undergone a lengthy period of rehabilitation under the watchful eye of renowned knee specialist Dr Richard Steadman and recently returned to Manchester from the States.
Initially, it was hoped that Hargreaves would be back in action by November, ready to aid United's quest for glory and stake a claim for a place in Fabio Capello's World Cup plans.
However, he remains some way off a first-team return and has been left out of the Red Devils' squad for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League.
Ferguson insists he had no choice but to overlook the England international on this occasion, but claims Hargreaves could come back into contention before the 2009/10 campaign draws to a close.
"Owen's recovery is slow," he said.
"It is a year-and-a-half now and I can't put a time on it. But he will be back.
"He could come back and make an impact on the league for us. Hopefully he does."
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