Alan Smith will play for Manchester United’s reserve team on Monday, his first appearance since suffering a serious leg injury in February.
The 25-year-old broke his leg and dislocated an ankle during the FA Cup defeat to Liverpool and some expected him to miss the rest of the year.
But United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said in the news:
“Alan has been doing great. He played in a closed-doors match for an hour on Wednesday and did very well. He has had quite an amazing recovery. We all gave him a deadline of September but we could easily have pushed him to play now. But we have taken the long view because we don’t want any doubts or worry but we do want him back.”
If he comes through Monday night’s test against Preston, there is a possibility Smith could be involved at Watford on Saturday as Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes both miss out through suspension.