Sir Alex Ferguson: Owen Hargreaves Is Back For Manchester United

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has confirmed today that midfielder Owen Hargreaves, for so long on the sidelines after major surgery on his right knee, is back in full training ahead of the weekend's trip to Stoke City.

"Owen Hargreaves is back now, and hopefully the boy gets a break and continues his progress without any further mishaps," the United boss told reporters at his Friday press conference.

"It's been long time for the lad and normally when a player has been out that length of time, he's always helped during his rehabilitation by with other players.

"The fact he did it on his own in America under the guidance of the doctor [Richard] Steadman. Then it's not easy, but he's got the determination and the resilience to see it through and he's now back with us.

"I feel that maybe it'll still take us four weeks to get him into the rhythm of training again and get to the point of match play. But I think that hopefully he is on the way back."

Ben Foster will be in goal again for the Red Devils at the Britannia after Ferguson also confirmed that Edwin van der Sar will be absent for at least another three weeks with a broken hand.

Tomasz Kuszczak impressed between the sticks in the League Cup win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday night, but Ferguson today revealed that he is sticking with the England international for the visit to the Potteries.

"Edwin is still three weeks away. It was a good opportunity for Tomasz to play on Wednesday, but Ben will play against Stoke," Ferguson explained.

United have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the trip to Stoke, a club for which Ferguson retains the utmost respect.

"Stoke have a good home record, and I'm not surprised how they've started the season at all," he added. "They're a club on the up and they're going to be a force this season."

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