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Owen is out but Owen is back

While one Owen has heard the final whistle on his season, another is looking forward to his first outing in 18 months. It just about sums up the ironies that football has a habit of throwing up!

Midfielder Owen Hargreaves is set to make his long awaited return from injury with a run out for the reserves on Thursday. The 29-year-old has been out of action since September 2008, when he underwent revolutionary knee surgery. But Hargreaves has resumed training with the first team and boss Sir Alex Ferguson says he could return against Manchester City‘s second string.

“He’s shown for the first time that he is almost ready to play,” said Ferguson. The England midfielder, who joined Manchester United in 2007 from Bayern Munich, has suffered long-term problems with tendinitis and played only three games for his club in 2008.

In a bid to solve the problem, he had knee surgery under the guidance of specialist Dr Richard Steadman in America and returned to United’s Carrington training base 12 months later. His expected return to training within a couple of months did not materialize however and his comeback has been continually delayed.

There were plenty of persistent rumours suggesting that Hargreaves was out for the remainder of the season but he could be on target to assist with United’s title run-in, should he come through the reserves derby match at Altrincham’s Moss Lane ground.

United also look set to welcome back Italian Under-21 international Federico Macheda from injury. It is a timely return, given that forward Michael Owen has been ruled out for the remainder of the season and Danny Welbeck is now at Championship side Preston North End on loan.

Macheda starts training with the first team again next week which is also good news, particularly considering the loss of Michael” stated Ferguson.”He is a good player to have back, so we have had some disappointments with some, and light at the end of the tunnel with other players”

Best of luck on your return Owen, it will hopefully be long term this time.

How will Hargreaves improve the midfield upon his return to the Premier League?

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